Tyus Battle commits to Syracuse

ByJeff Goodman and Jeff Borzello ESPN logo
Monday, July 13, 2015

Former Michigan pledge Tyus Battle told ESPN that he has committed to play for Syracuse.

The 6-foot-6 Battle said he rushed into the decision to commit to John Beilein and the Wolverines in May.

"I wanted to be closer to home," Battle said of his decision to pick Syracuse. "They told me I could be a versatile guard who could have the ball in my hands a lot."

He said he chose the Orange over Michigan, Louisville, Virginia, Kentucky and UConn.

Battle, No. 27 in the ESPN 100, has attended Gill St. Bernard's (N.J.) for the past three years, but he was injured for much of his junior season -- a broken bone in his foot that also kept him off the AAU circuit until last week. He averaged 22.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game as a sophomore.

He said his mother wanted him to take his time with the process, but shortly after a visit, he decided to commit to Michigan.

Battle reopened his recruitment in June and immediately took an official visit to Syracuse. Battle had also taken official visits to Duke, Michigan and Louisville before his commitment to Michigan.

"Michigan is a great school, and I love the people, the staff and Coach Beilein," Battle said. "But the key was the distance."

Battle also said Syracuse's recent announcement that associate head coach Mike Hopkins will take over in three years when Jim Boeheim is expected to retire played into his decision.

"It mattered," Battle said. "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."

Syracuse pulled in a top-10 recruiting class in 2015 with four ESPN 100 players, and the Orange already have No. 51 Matthew Moyer committed in the Class of 2016.

Syracuse's recruiting was expected to take a hit after the NCAA handed down sanctions in March following an investigation into a variety of violations. The Orange were docked three scholarships per season for the next four years, but that didn't slow down Boeheim and his staff on the recruiting trail.

They already had Moyer in the fold when the punishment was announced, but the Orange entered the spring and summer recruiting periods wanting a big man and a point guard. Syracuse accomplished the first by adding Providence transfer Paschal Chukwu, who will sit out the upcoming season, and now the Orange have landed their primary guard target in Battle.

"I'm a guard who can score, and I love to get to the basket," Battle said while describing his game. "I can knock down open shots, have a midrange game and get after it defensively."

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