It’s a big day for Tyus Battle and his family. For his father, Gary Battle, it’s also bittersweet.
“Because he’s my firstborn,” Gary Battle said after his son, a 5-star shooting guard, committed to Michigan basketball’s Class of 2016 today. “We’ve been going through this journey, in terms of trying to get a scholarship, since he was six years old. Now he’s 17. You’re happy as heck. The kid did everything he needed to do get to this point.
“He could’ve went to a lot of different schools, but he chose the school he wanted. I kind of wanted him to be home, but I can’t get in his way because I think he’s right.”
Shortly after missing out on Jaylen Brown, the No. 3 overall player for the class of 2015, U-M basketball coach John Beilein may have nabbed his best recruit yet.
Tyus Battle, a 6-foot-5, 180-pound guard out of Gill St. Bernard’s School in Gladstone, N.J., gives the Wolverines an elite player for the 2016 class after Brown committed to Cal. Battle is ranked the No. 14 overall player for 2016 on rivals.com.
“Tyus Battle is a two guard with good size who does a little bit of everything,” said Eric Bossi, a rivals.com analyst. “He can shoot with range, is a good finisher on the break and he’s a pretty good defender. He is very well rounded for a high school player.
“I think that any time that you can lock up a potentially elite prospect early, it is huge. Michigan has been pretty successful with backcourt players and like anybody else would like to land the best players available. Locking Battle up this early should reduce some stress in the 2016 class and allow them to focus on chasing after a point guard like Cassius Winston. Cassius is a big priority for both Michigan and Michigan State, so there could be a lot of trash talk there.”
Brian Snow, a scout.com analyst, adds: “Tyus battle is one of the most complete players in this class. He can pass, shoot and he’s a good defender. He really is the complete package and one of the great players in this class. He’s a great addition to the Michigan program.”
Battle chose Michigan over the likes of Duke, Louisville, Kentucky and Syracuse. He reportedly visited U-M last week and had visited Duke and Louisville as well.
“Just the mixture of academics and athletics,” Battle told scout.com of why he chose U-M. “I really love the basketball situation and coach Beilein and the rest of the staff. They are amazing coached. You can see how they develop their players like Caris (LeVert), Nik Stauskas and Tim Hardaway. That’s a big deal to me.”
The Wolverines still have one open scholarship for 2015, and they’ll lose seniors Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht after next season. With power forward Austin Davis and center Jon Teske also in the 2016 class, the three open scholarships appear to be taken.
Battle could be an ideal successor to LeVert as a 6-foot-6, 200-pound wing who can handle the ball, attack the basket and step out to shoot.
Though U-M basketball can’t directly discuss Battle’s commitment until he signs his Letter of Intent, it appears the coaching staff is excited to hear the news.
Assistant basketball coach LaVall Jordan tweeted this afternoon: “It’s a GREAT day to be a Wolverine! #GoBlue #THISISMICHIGAN.”
Watch a highlight video of Battle here.
Tyus Battle (ESPN #7 in 2016) Official Mixtape
Full list: Michigan’s recruits (with highlight videos)
Tweet by tyus battle
Contact Brian Manzullo: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BrianManzullo. Mark Snyder contributed.