FOR THE second time this week, one of the city's basketball players has decided to take advantage of the NCAA rule that allows them to transfer and be immediately eligible to play their final season because they've graduated on time.
First it was Drexel's Damion Lee. Now it's Villanova's fourth-year junior guard Dylan Ennis, who averaged 9.9 points for a team that went 33-3.
Ennis, who will get his communications degree in May, transferred to the Main Line 3 years ago after playing as a freshman at Rice and had to sit out in 2012-13.
"Dylan is interested in finding a program that will allow him to play the role of the traditional point guard so he can become the primary ballhandler," coach Jay Wright said in a statement on his way to the Final Four. "We support Dylan and thank him for all his efforts as a student and athlete at Villanova."
There is no indication of what school or schools Ennis might be looking at. A native of Brampton, Ontario, his brother Tyler played one season at Syracuse (2013-14) before leaving early for the NBA draft.
This move means that Wright will now have to replace three starters, including leading scorer Darrun Hilliard. Ennis, who did a lot of things that didn't show up in box scores, played bigger than 6-2.
The Wildcats return lead guard Ryan Arcidiacono, the co-Big East Player of the Year. They'll also welcome Jalen Brunson, considered one of the top point guard prosects. And Phil Booth only got better as his freshman season progressed. Big East Sixth Man of the Year Josh Hart, at 6-5, will probably be the starting power forward. So the Wildcats will continue to play small, despite the presence of 6-11 Daniel Ochefu in the middle. Ennis' departure may translate into more time for junior Kris Jenkins, who might be their best shooter. Swingman Mikal Bridges, who redshirted as a freshman, could find his way into the rotation at 6-7. Two other newcomers - South Jersey forward Tim Delaney and Delaware guard Donte DiVincenzo - might also be able to help.