Dylan Ennis wanted a chance to be the prototypical point guard on the basketball court and realized that particular role really doesn't exist the way Villanova runs its offense.
So Ennis, who started all 36 games this past season for the Big East champion Wildcats, is saying good-bye to the Wildcats after he graduates next month. He will spend his final year of eligibility next season as a postgraduate student in a program that he hopes will allow him to run the offense and set up his teammates.
The 6-foot-2 Ennis, of Brampton, Ontario, said Thursday he met recently with coach Jay Wright and told him of his decision.
"I told him I would feel more comfortable playing my last season at another school as a pure point guard," he said. "Villanova did a great job making me the best player I could be, but I decided I wanted to go elsewhere and be the prototypical point guard with the ball in my hands. I grew up being a point guard."
With highly touted high school point guard Jalen Brunson going to Villanova next season, Ennis would have been one of four point guards – Ryan Arcidiacono and Phil Booth being the others – on the roster. But he said the crowded point position did not influence his decision.
"I've played with point guards and guards in the past," he said. "That had nothing to do with my decision. The style of play at Villanova, they'll never have the traditional point guard offense. I loved playing in a four-guard lineup, but I want the chance to be a point guard."
In a statement, Wright spoke of Ennis seeking a role as "a traditional point guard (who) can be the primary ballhandler" and added, "We support Dylan and thank him for all of his efforts as a student and athlete at Villanova.
Ennis averaged 9.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists for a Wildcats team that went 33-3 and received a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament but saw its season end abruptly with a third-round upset loss to North Carolina State.
He finished the season with 126 assists, three behind Arcidiacono, the team leader in that department. In 18 Big East games, he had 66 assists (3.7 average), two ahead of Arcidiacono. He reached a career-high of 19 points twice – against Lehigh and Creighton.
Ennis began his career at Rice but transferred to Villanova following his freshman season. After sitting out the 2012-13 season under NCAA rules, he averaged 5.1 points in 30 games on a team that finished 29-5.