Hoops Hello(!): Tyus Battle

Submitted by Brian on May 11th, 2015 at 3:28 PM

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2016 five-star wing Tyus Battle just committed to Michigan:

This should help you salve your Jaylen Brown wounds even if he is using the split M. Informative update coming.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
5*, #10 overall
#4 SG
5*, #14 overall 5*, #14 overall
#4 SG
5*, #11 overall
#4 SG
5*, #12 overall
#4 SG

The 247 composite didn't have to work too hard to average those rankings: the world has Battle just outside the top ten in the 2016 rankings, the #4 shooting guard in the country behind (former?) Michigan target Josh Langford, Malik Monk, and Terrance Ferguson.

SCOUTING

Battle is high on everyone's wish list because he brings NBA size and athleticism. Then there's a lot of conflicting information. ESPN says Battle may be "most gifted on the defensive end of the floor," praises his maturity, and says he's got "good size, long arms, speed, quickness, and leaping ability." They then say his three point shooting is the "most glaring weakness he has." With ESPN evaluations it's always tough to know when and how they saw the kid, and that'll play a role as we hit a bunch of scouting reports that say he's a great shooter.

There isn't a lot of recent scouting since Battle missed about five months with an ankle injury likely sustained as he helped the USA U17s to a gold medal in Dubai. Before that he was in a bit of a funk but recovered from it

The No. 11 player in the class of 2016, Battle has struggled a bit for much of the spring. He's grown to 6-foot-5, gotten much stronger and has been in the process of adjusting his game. Sunday, he mixed jump shots, transition finishes and drives to the hoop nicely and as a result he played the best he has this spring. Battle said that he feels like he's started to get things going in the right direction and he's excited for the summer ahead now that he has his confidence going.

…to re-establish himself one of the top prospects in the 2016 class:

Tyus Battle, 6-foot-5 SG (No. 25 2016): It was not a great spring for the wing from New Jersey. It was, however, a great summer. Starting around Memorial Day, Battle broke out of a funk he had been in through the early stages of Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League. Battle looks to be much more comfortable with the size that he added in the last year, and he was shooting very well during July. He looks like he will be moving up to five-star status.

His early stats on the AAU circuit weren't great, largely because he took a ton of three pointers and not much else. I can't figure out why, but it seems like his team wasn't particularly well organized.

As for the upside:

Obviously, he’s an effective perimeter shooter, but he also possesses lean athleticism and a frame that should enable him to become legitimately strong as he progresses.

I also like his defensive potential at 6-6, with the spidery athleticism to defend wing forwards and many shooting guards as well.

As mentioned above, there’s a very high likelihood that Battle will become a successful high-major performer. The things he does well, at 6-6 and athletic, typically enjoy a very high translation level to college and beyond. There aren’t enough shooters and scorers in college basketball — but don’t take my word for it, just ask your nearest college coach — and Battle will supply that as early as his freshman season.

Scout's Brian Snow caught him when he was playing with Team USA:

He attacked the rim well with the dribble and was excellent finishing in the mid-range. Battle was shooting it well from deep, though at times he was a bit streaky mostly due to his footwork being inconsistent. Still he is one of the best shot makers and athletes on the wing in the class and showed his impressive scoring ability all day long.

He hit a few deep jumpers, and then began really turning it up. Battle got on the glass and converted a few offensive rebounds for buckets, slashed to the rim, and then scored in the mid-range. It was a good finish to a strong day for Battle.

And Sam Webb had a take from Michigan's camp:

Sam’s Take: If there was a better shooter in attendance I didn’t see him.  In one of the shooting drills Battle didn’t have a single miss.  In another he only missed one. He can drill jumpers coming off screens with the ball or without, and he can also knock them down pulling up off the dribble.  It game action he was streakier from distance, but his stroke is undeniable. When it came to getting to the rim he did so with relative ease thanks to his quick first step and strong handle.  One of his best moves was a blow-by off a hesitation, but in that move he also put on display the next stage of development. 

Battle sounds a lot like LeVert: a lanky 6'6" guy who's an excellent shooter with long arms and passing ability. He may or may not be able to get to explosive dunkland on the regular, a la Jaylen Brown. Battle:

“I think knocking down jump shots and creating my own shot, I’m pretty good at,” Battle told Scout.com.

“I’m probably better from mid-range,” he added. “That’s more of my game. When they go to man-to-man I like to get the mid-range jump shot.”

Battle is already as big as rising senior LeVert, which helps explain the disparity in their rankings. (Also, LeVert was criminally underrated even after winning the Ohio POY award that has been a ticket to the NBA for a decade.) The hope you have is that Battle can add the posterizations as he gets older—the ranking implies he's got the athleticism for it.

OFFERS

A who's who as you might expect. His final seven schools were Michigan, UConn, Duke, Syracuse, OSU, Louisville, and Notre Dame. Arizona, Kentucky, Indiana, and Villanova also offered.

STATS

I couldn't find anything that seemed reliable.

VIDEO

From last summer's Peach Jam, when he was a rising junior:

And at another tourney:

An SNY profile:

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Take your pick between a meatier Caris LeVert or a quicker Zak Irvin. Battle seems to split the difference between Michigan's two wing stars. If that three point shot is currently erratic, it's close enough to where it needs to be for Beilein to put him in the 40%+ range, and then you've got a six-foot-six guy with long arms and at least B+ athleticism.

So more of the same, maybe with a little more oomph.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Michigan has at least three spots for next year's class: Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht graduate and they currently have an open slot. Those slots would appear to be full with Battle, Jon Teske, and Austin Davis, but 1) Michigan would very much like a point guard with Spike's departure and 2) it appears that Michigan offered Davis with the idea that he might prep and arrive in 2017 depending on how the 2016 roster develops.

That would leave them with room for a point guard. Michigan is pushing hard for in-stater Cassius Winston and has opened up their horizons after Derryck Thornton accelerated and committed to Duke. Currently rising 6'6" NY PG Kevin Huerter is currently the name with the most juice if they can't get Winston, but after plan A things are fuzzy.

Michigan will likely wait and see what kind of unexpected attrition they have, if any, after the year before looking for additional players. Irvin reaching NBA range and a playing time transfer from someone frozen out this year are possibilities; I'd guess they grab a point guard as soon as they can and continue recruiting wing types with the expectation they will have a slot.

Comments

Double-D

May 11th, 2015 at 4:45 PM ^

What a great kid. He seems like he has his head on right. Beilein does a masterful job of finding players with talent, upside, and great character. I have been told by rival fans that Beilein teams are easy to like and hard to hate. He seems to get kids that work hard and have fun. I can't wait to see the point guard that decides he better grab that position.

Young John Beilein

May 11th, 2015 at 6:15 PM ^

You haven't been keeping up.  People were talking about him and Derryck Thornton Jr being a package deal roughly one year ago.  Back then people saw DTJr as a near-lock for Michigan and Battle as a long shot.  Things have changed, but can't say I'm too mad.  I think having Walton for 2 more years (probably) and playing along side Battle as a senior will be better than Thornton as a 1 and done.  

Smoothitron

May 11th, 2015 at 4:26 PM ^

According to that Mlive link over on the sidebar Seth Towns(wing player) was told at the beginning of May that UM was pulling back on his recruitment to focus on the PG position. This was also right around the time Brown committed to Cal.  Maybe Brown going elsewhere was the catalyst and Beilein has known for a while.  Maybe it's all random and I should get back to work.

PrincetonBlue

May 11th, 2015 at 7:03 PM ^

It's too bad that he's coming after LeVert, Albrecht, and maybe Irvin are gone, because a team like that would have been YES YES YES YES.  However, a team with Battle, MAAR, Dawkins still has tremendous potential.

champswest

May 11th, 2015 at 4:34 PM ^

  2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
1 Albricht Irvin Chatman Wilson
2 LeVert Walton Dawkins Wagner
3 Irvin Chatman Rahk Teske
4 Walton Dawkins Robinson Davis
5 Chatman Rahk Donnal Battle
6 Dawkins Robinson Doyle  
7 Rahk Donnal Wilson  
8 Robinson Doyle Wagner  
9 Donnal Wilson Teske  
10 Doyle Wagner Davis  
11 Wilson Teske Battle  
12 Wagner Davis    
13   Battle