It’s huge that Tyus Battle decided to commit to SU. But everyone is wondering about that elephant in the room. How can the Orange fit Battle in given the NCAA sanctions?
As of right now, Syracuse has 11 scholarship players committed for the 2016 season, and just 10 available scholarships. There are multiple possibilities for the Orange.
1) Someone transfers
This year, both BJ Johnson and Ron Patterson transferred out of SU. Although it was denied recently, maybe Chino Obokoh leaves if sees a dip in playing time. Or maybe Kaleb Joseph’s playing time drops off big time and he decides to go elsewhere.
2) Someone decommits
This feels less likely because Matthew Moyer has been very strong in his commitment to SU, even in the wake of the NCAA sanctions. And the only other player who could “decommit” at this point is Battle himself. Of course it seems unlikely considering he just committed to SU, but he had also previously committed to Michigan so it cannot be totally ruled out.
3) DaJuan Coleman’s situation
DaJuan hasn’t played a in so long you almost forget he is still a part of the team. It has been a year and a half since DaJuan has suited up – here is the box score of that game if you don’t remember. It’s possible he decides his ongoing health issues won’t stop, he can no longer play and he leaves the program. Or the opposite happens and Coleman realizes he put together a healthy, productive season and then takes the opportunity to cash in with a payday overseas before his health completely fails him.
4) Sanctions overturned
This is probably the most likely to happen. Syracuse has already filed its appeal of the NCAA Sanctions and is waiting to hear back. Right now, the Orange is being docked 12 scholarships over 4 years, meaning 3 a year for 4 years. All Syracuse needs this to be reduced to is 8 scholarships over 4 years, or 2 a year for 4 years and the Orange will have enough room for Battle to come aboard. The NCAA has reduced a number of stiff penalties recently with other programs. It seems like reasonable request to the NCAA, but as we know, the NCAA isn’t always reasonable.
5) The NBA Draft
It may not look like there is anyone on the SU roster that will leave for the NBA after next season, but did you think Tyler Ennis would bolt after his freshman year? Or Michael Carter-Williams, Chris McCullough and Dion Waiters? Bottom line, every year we look back at the end of the season and say, “I never thought he would go to the NBA.” Looking at the roster this year, there is probably one candidate: Tyler Roberson. If he develops and pours in 18 points and grab 10 rebounds a game, he might be on his way to the NBA. There is a chance that maybe Malachi Richardson comes in and plays incredible basketball and he becomes a 1-and-done, but I think those are longer odds.
There are ways to make it work for the Orange to get Battle and make him fit under the scholarship reductions, it may just take some number crunching.
Posted: Seth Goldberg