It’s a great day for Syracuse Basketball. Just over two months after losing a five-star recruit to Michigan, Tyus Battle has officially committed to play for the Orange in 2016-17. The 6’6” combo guard from Gil St. Bernard in New Jersey has great size, athleticism and a lethal three point shot. He’s also a playmaker with the ball in his hands and is the 4th ranked shooting guard in his class.
Battle had originally committed to play for head coach John Beilein and the Wolverines in May, but started to re-think his decision a few days after visiting Ann Arbor. Even before all that in March, Jimmy Boeheim had met with Tyus and his family in their home. That very personal meeting left Syracuse fans with some short-lived optimism, only to be dealt another blow in a tumultuous offseason. Little did Orange Nation know that other factors were in play which would lead the prized-recruit back to University Hill.
For starters, Michigan is quite a hike from his hometown in New Jersey. That may not always be the first thing on people’s minds when schools across the country are trying to impress you, but it’s important. On top of it, Syracuse reportedly made it clear they wanted Tyus to be a major part of the offense going forward.
A few days after announcing he would re-open us his recruitment, Battle made a visit to the Syracuse campus. Over that weekend the team made it clear they wanted the explosive guard to be a playmaker with the ball in his hands. The opportunity to handle the ball more along with Boeheim publicly passing the torch to assistant coach Mike Hopkins in a few years was apparently enough.
“It mattered,” Battle told ESPN of Hopkins. “He’s a great guy who will be a terrific head coach. He’s high-energy, and I’m very comfortable and confident in Coach Hop.”
We’ve all heard the stories about how Coach Hop does a lot of the recruiting and how influential he is in these decisions. It’s great to see Syracuse’s recent move to let everyone know he’s next in line is already paying off.
Additionally, Tyus Battle’s commitment continues Syracuse basketball’s recruiting dominance in New Jersey, as All-American guard Malachi Richardson (Trenton Catholic) and four-star big man Moustapha Diagne (Pope John XXIII) are already headed to play in the dome this fall.