So Tyus Battle is on his was back to Central New York for another season of college basketball. After going through the combine, taking all the steps to enter the NBA Draft, Battle made a near-last-minute announcement that he would return to Syracuse for his junior year.
— Syracuse Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) May 31, 2018
There were various arguments made over the past month about whether Battle should leave for the NBA or whether he would return for another college season. Now that his decision has been made, let’s take a look at some pros and cons of Battle returning to SU.
Pros of Battle Returning to Syracuse
If you are a fan of the “let’s hear the bad news first and end on a good note” philosophy, scroll down and read the cons section first. But right now, there is a lot to be happy about as a Syracuse basketball fan with Tyus Battle still bleeding orange.
Syracuse Might be a Top 25 Team to Start the Season
Despite making it all the way to the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament last year, SU was not ranked all season. This year, with the return of Tyus Battle, the Orange have the potential to start the season in the top 25. There were some complications to the outlook of this coming season’s team after Darius Bazley decommitted and instead opted for the G-League. But, even though Battle is not a small forward and does not replace having Bazley on the team as well, Battle does add back some more star-power to this 2018-2019 Syracuse team that is already expected to play at a high level.
Let’s get it✊🏾 https://t.co/gazMjJ8ezd
— tyus battle (@tyusbattle1) May 31, 2018
Battle Gets Another Year to Refine His Skills
As Battle said himself in his official statement about returning to Syracuse, rejoining the Orange gives him another year to develop as a player and solidify parts of his game. Doing so can potentially increase his stock for next year’s NBA Draft, especially after what some critics called an underwhelming combine performance this year. Plus, last season, Battle—a second-year player—was surrounded by a team full of first-year players, so it was almost expected that he would stand out and lead SU. Should Battle continue to put up numbers in his junior season and standout in a team that has largely improved since last year and might not need to rely on him as much, all the better to show his skill.
— 〽️Howard Jr〽️ (@hwashington324) May 30, 2018
Cons of Battle Returning to Syracuse
“There are none,” says the Syracuse fan. Well, let’s consider these, at least for a moment.
Battle’s NBA Draft Stock Might Decrease
With an improved Syracuse team this season, it is possible that Battle actually won’t stand out as much. Last season, Battle was the guy. He was the experienced player on the team, and he was performing for the team. This year, with an improved court of players around him, Battle might be fighting for some of the spotlight. When a player goes into the NBA Draft, he wants to have that nod of leadership, high-performance and stand-out ability associated with his name. Battle had it this year going into NBA Draft time, but can he maintain it through his junior season. Even if he outperforms his numbers from last season, there is still that edge of perception that is important—the difference between being a standout completely or doing even better the next year while having others directly around you perform nearly as well, too.
Jim Boeheim Might Have to Bench Some Talent
Of course, there will always be talent on the bench in college basketball, especially on a historically excellent team like Syracuse. And, of course, having too much talent is the best kind of problem to have. But we know Boeheim winds up starting basically the same five guys throughout the season, and that can be a problem. If a talented player is benched a lot of the time, no matter which year he is in, he might consider transferring to another school that with give him the minutes on the court he desires. As just one recent example, Geno Thorpe left Syracuse this past year. With Battle back on the court, that means another talented player that might have played in Battle’s absence might find himself on the bench in 2018-2019. And if you’re SU, you don’t want him leaving because of it.
Overall, Battle will be largely welcomed back to the Carrier Dome this coming season. He made his decision, and now everyone can take a deep breath after all the analysis and suspense. For the moment, the bright yellow basketball shoes will again be featured on the Orange.
Published: David Edelstein