With speculation swirling after both Ron Patterson and BJ Johnson announced that they would transfer from SU, fans may not realize how big of an impact this makes down the road. Facing scholarship reductions, Syracuse’s work recruiting 2016 point guard Tyus Battle was all-but wasted until the news broke on Thursday night.
Now, with both players on their way out, Syracuse can find a way to not only snag a commitment from big man Thomas Bryant in 2015, but also Battle in 2016. Battle, a 6’5″ true shooting guard resembling the size of Michael Carter-Williams, is one of the most highly touted prospects in the recruiting class of 2016.
With Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije set to graduate after this coming season, the Orange will be at the ten-scholarship limit that the NCAA is enforcing on the program. However, many suspect that the Orange will also lose Chris McCullough to the NBA, and if one other players departs early a door will be opened for Battle, whose interest in SU has not changed since the NCAA investigation concluded.
Coach Boeheim reached out to the family of Tyus Battle before Chancellor Kent Syverud announced that Athletic Director Daryl Gross would be resigning and Boeheim would be retiring in three years. If this news affected Battle’s thoughts on the program, it certainly isn’t showing. Battle and his father even endorsed potential head coach replacement, Mike Hopkins.
A move as small as calling the Battle family before the news broke may have saved Syracuse’s chance of getting the high school junior’s commitment down the road. Boeheim also reiterated to Battle and his family that SU would find a scholarship for him if he wanted to play in Central New York in two years.
Battle, currently rated as the 15th-best prospect in the class, is also the top player out of New Jersey. SU has recruited the Garden State very well in the recent past and its top prospect next season, Malachi Richardson, is also from NJ.
Posted: Jason Weingold