Syracuse Basketball fans will have another familiar face on the court once the season gets started. Tyus Battle yesterday officially withdrew his name from the N-B-A draft … and plans to come back to school for his junior year. Battle spent the last few weeks getting assessed by pro teams, including attending the N-B-A combine.
He made visits and did workouts for several teams. He was considered by some analysts as likely to be a second-round draft pick. First round picks have guaranteed contracts, while in the second round, contracts and income are less certain.
STUDENT AND ATHLETE
Battle has both basketball and college reasons to return
"Although I may have been picked by the NBA team of my dreams, I feel it is in my best interest at this time to focus on improving some fine points in my game while continuing to work toward achieving my degree.”
Previous media reports suggested his family placed a high value on college education, wanting him to finish his degree. He was named to the A-C-C all-academic team as a freshman and a sophomore.
Battle was the leading scorer last year on a team that made it to the N-C-A-A championship’s Sweet 16. He averaged 19.2 points per game, and in a team that struggled with depth, played a nation-leading 39 minutes-a-game, more than 40 minutes-a-game in ACC games.
He’s ready to make a push for a successful post-season for Syracuse Basketball fans.
"This year it's all about the 'Cuse! I'd like to send a shout out to all the 'Cuse fans who supported me throughout this process as well as my family, coaches, teammates and Drew Hanlen."
STILL A PROMISING PRO CAREER
Battle had individual workouts with the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, and Orlando Magic. And may well have been drafted or given the chance to sign a free-agent contract with another team. He still plans to pursue the dream.
"My plan is to re-enter the draft next year. Going back to Syracuse is an easy decision on many levels. That is where I want to be for now. I had incredible workouts with some amazing NBA organizations. However, the NBA (God-willing) will be in a future chapter for me.”
IN addition to Battle, the team brings back the entire lineup that started the last game of the season: Battle, Oshae Brissett, Frank Howard, Marek Dolezaj and Paschal Chukwu. The team will also have incoming guard Jalen Carey and Coach Jim Boeheim's son, Buddy. The roster will further be strengthened by Elijah Hughes, a transfer who sat out last season.