Tyus Battle – Syracuse
Weight: 215 lbs
Age/Birthday: 20 (9/23/97)
Hometown: Edison, NJ
High School: St. Joseph High School
(Grant Kobrin – 4/7/18)
Tyus Battle was the leading scorer for Syracuse this past season, averaging over 19 points per game. Battle led Syracuse to a Sweet 16 appearance, when Syracuse was one of the last four teams selected into the NCAA Tournament field. Tyus Battle, originally from New Jersey, was a standout guard in high school basketball and was sought out by other top programs such as Duke, Louisville, Notre Dame, and Michigan, but ultimately decided to join Coach Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse Orange. Tyus Battle is arguably one of the most underrated NBA prospects in this year’s draft class. He appeared on most mock drafts in the first round at the start of the year, yet despite a breakout year, he is not seen on many draft boards anymore. Tyus Battle has not officially declared his intentions to declare for the NBA Draft, but I would expect him to declare for the draft without hiring an agent, and then he can receive feedback from scouts about his NBA Draft Stock, and make an informed decision about his plans next year. I would expect him to be a mid-second round pick this year, and a late first-round pick next year. Unless, Battle is told that he could sneak into the bottom of the first round, expect him to return to the Orange for his junior year next season.
Tyus Battle is a natural scorer. He attacks the rim with ease and uses his size and length to finish over and around smaller defenders. He is able to get into the lane almost anytime he attempts to and has developed a solid mid-range game, which is somewhat of a lost art in basketball today. Battle is certainly a threat from outside where he can shoot off the catch, but really excels shooting off of the bounce. Tyus Battle and Frank Howard were a dangerous duo from outside this season for the Orange. Battle scores the ball very well, but also is very patient with the basketball in his hands and doesn’t turn the ball over frequently. The most impressive part of Battle’s game is his durability. This season Tyus Battle played 39 minutes per game, and was thus only awarded one minute of rest per game on average. In most close games, Tyus Battle never left the floor for Syracuse. Tyus Battle might have played more minutes this season than almost any other player in college basketball, but he sure didn’t show any signs of it. He never looked tired on the court, and always played under control and with an extreme level of confidence. Additionally, Tyus Battle was a very good player in the clutch moments of games and had many game winning shots for Syracuse this season. He shot over 83% percent from the free-throw line this season, which is outstanding, considering how many minutes he played. Tyus Battle showed flashes of being a good defender where he would create offensive from defensive turnovers, but there are still questions about his defensive impact at the next level. Overall, Tyus Battle is a big, strong, versatile shooting guard who appears to have a game that should translate well to the NBA level.
Tyus Battle’s main concern as an NBA prospect is his defensive impact at the NBA level. He showed flashes of being a good defender at Syracuse, but as mentioned above questions still remain. Part of this is not Battle’s fault as Syracuse strictly plays their famous zone, and thus all Syracuse prospects have this uncertainty to some degree. Part of the issue is that Battle simply does not seem as engaged on the defensive end as he does on the offensive end. He is not the quickest shooting guard, but with his size and length, he could turn out to be a decent defender at the NBA level. Additionally, another concern is his seemingly one dimension game. Battle is a decent facilitator on the offensive end, but he really just appears to be a scorer. He has not shown to be a great defender yet, and he isn’t a great rebounder for a guard of his size. He is going to need to work on developing another aspect of his game, because teams are hesitant to select players who don’t excel in any other aspect of the game besides scoring. Lastly, Tyus Battle is a bit of high-volume shooter. His shot is a bit awkward looking, which may be a cause to some of his lower shooting percentages, including under 40 percent from the field, and under 33% from the college three point line. Battle shot higher percentages in his freshman year when he player fewer minutes, but he is definitely going to need to shoot better, and smarter shots at the next level. Overall, Tyus Battle has a few questions surrounding his game, but he should be able to contribute almost immediately at the next level.
Player Outlook & NBA Comparison: Rodney Hood
Tyus Battle appears to be somewhat of a smaller Rodney Hood. Both players can score over smaller defenders, are above average athletes, and excel in the clutch moments of games. Rodney hood is an inch taller though, and is a more of a jump shooter, rather than a slasher. Rodney Hood is a solid wing in the NBA, and we can only hope that Tyus Battle will be as productive and impactful as Hood has been in the NBA.
As mentioned at the start of this article, I believe that Tyus Battle is one of the most underrated NBA Draft prospects this year. His disappearance from NBA Draft Boards makes little sense, considering his breakout season, and his success in the NCAA tournament. I personally believe that Tyus Battle will return to school next year, in order to further develop his overall game. If he chooses to enter the draft this year, expect him to be a mid-second round pick, around the 40th pick. Assuming he returns to school and improves his all around game, then he should be a top 25 pick in next year’s draft. Overall, Tyus Battle had an incredible season this year, and it will be interesting to follow his NBA journey in the coming years.
Can’t get enough NBA Draft content? Check out the rest of our NBA Draft Player Profiles, along with NBA Draft Analyst Brett Siegel’s latest Big Board and Mock Draft!