Rundown: Tyus Battle to Michigan

Dylan Burkhardt
on

Michigan added a major commitment from five-star guard Tyus Battle this afternoon. Here’s everything you need to know about Michigan’s latest commitment.

Rankings & Offers

Battle is a consensus five-star recruit and he was most recently measured last summer at a USA Basketball event at at 6-foot-6.75″ with shoes, 190 pounds with a 6-foot-9 wing span.

  • ESPN: Five-star, No. 14
  • Rivals: Five-star, No. 14
  • Scout: Five-star, No. 10
  • 247: Five-star. No. 11
  • 247 Composite: Five-star, No. 12

Battle’s final list included Duke, Syracuse, Kentucky, Louisville, Notre Dame, UConn and Ohio State. He took official visits to Michigan, Duke and Louisville.

Video

Why Michigan?

Battle’s father told Scout.com that Tyus chose the Wolverines because of his relationship with coaches and players and also his role in the offense.

“The way he interacted with Caris [LeVert], Spike [Albrecht], Aubrey [Dawkins] and especially coach [John] Beilein and Lavall [Jordan], he just hit it off with them well. The biggest thing is he’s going to be ball handling guard.”

Tyus focused on his fit within the whole University:

“Just the mixture of academics and athletics,” Tyus told Scout when asked about his choice. “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, Nik Stauskas and Tim Hardaway. That’s a big deal to me.”

Scouting

Battle is a prototypical wing guard for Michigan’s offense. He’s known for his perimeter shooting stroke, but he also has ample athletic ability to make plays attacking the basket and in transition.

Scout.com praised Battle’s scoring ability this January:

At this point his game has relied to heavily on distance shooting, which though a strength needs augmentation from slashing and two-point scoring. We did find his July play encouraging, because he raised his numbers to 15 points per game on 44 percent shooting during the live period. Battle appeared to start figuring it out by the end of the travel season, so we’re all very eager to see if he can build upon that in 2015.

Obviously, he’s an effective perimeter shooter, but he also possesses lean athleticism and a frame that should enable him to become legitimately strong as he progresses.

I also like his defensive potential at 6-6, with the spidery athleticism to defend wing forwards and many shooting guards as well.

As mentioned above, there’s a very high likelihood that Battle will become a successful high-major performer. The things he does well, at 6-6 and athletic, typically enjoy a very high translation level to college and beyond. There aren’t enough shooters and scorers in college basketball — but don’t take my word for it, just ask your nearest college coach — and Battle will supply that as early as his freshman season.

The Intentional Foul watched Battle at a Team USA minicamp last summer:

It only takes one look at the 6’5” Battle to tell that he is a tough competitor on the court. With great strength and an athletic build, Battle is an ideal wing for the USA team as he can provide lock down defense, outside shooting, and an ability to attack the basket. Along with Ellenson and Swanigan, Battle is a newcomer to the USA team and advanced throughout tryouts with his aggressive mindset. His father noted that Tyus seems to turn it on in July and he is definitely right about that. Last year Battle outplayed both VJ King and Luke Kennard in a 16U game in Peach Jam and this year his strong play with Team Scan helped them advance in the prestigious 17U tournament. He upped his scoring average during the Peach Jam and averaged almost 14 points per game to go along with a 40% mark from behind the arc. Battle will have a versatile role for the USA team and earned a spot with his defensive intensity, shot making ability, and overall athletic nature.

Unlike many of his counterparts, Battle does not need to hit the weight room as he is one of the most college ready players physically. He does need to improve his ball-handling skills to make him an even better threat on the perimeter. While he can bring up the ball against the press he is better in situations where just one or two dribbles are needed. He shot 36% from the three point line throughout the EYBL season which was brought up by his play in Peach Jam so Battle will also need to continue to make his shot as quick and efficient as possible.

ESPN.com focuses on Battle’s upside:

Strengths:
A big perimeter player with high physical upside and a versatile floor game, Battle might actually be most gifted on the defensive end of the floor where he has the ability to be a true lockdown defender. He’s got a mature floor game for a celebrated young prospect because he doesn’t monopolize the ball, can pass off the dribble, and even looks into the post. He can really accelerate once he hits the gas off the dribble, has a handle that is developing into weapon, and can make tough pull-ups in the lane. Physically, he has good size, long arms, speed, quickness, and leaping ability.

Weaknesses:
The inconsistency of his three-point range is the most glaring weakness in his game right now. He needs to rework and simplify his mechanics to eliminate both the excess motion from the shot as well as the twisting motion that plagues his release and alignment. Once he’s able to become a more consistent three-point shooter, his floor game has the potential to be incredibly versatile.

Bottom Line:
He’s unique for a highly talented young player because he balances production and potential with an already efficient floor game and the physical tools to continuing improving for the foreseeable future.

Outlook

Battle is perfect fit to play the wing position in Michigan’s offense. His length and athleticism are tools in any system, but the Michigan system should provide an outlet for Battle to succeed. With Michigan set to lose Caris LeVert on the wing after this season, Battle should step on campus as an instant impact option to replace LeVert and he has the size and skills to play the two or three in Michigan’s offense.

It’s hard not to see a bit of a Tim Hardaway Jr. fit for Battle in Michigan’s offense. He has similar versatility and athleticism and is a more than capable shooter from the perimeter.

He’ll also arrive on campus as Michigan’s highest rated signee since Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary and could be the Wolverines first McDonald’s All-American since Daniel Horton.

Battle is Michigan’s third commitment in the class of 2016, joining big men Austin Davis and Jon Teske. Michigan’s focus should shift almost entirely toward the point guard position. Michigan now has two big men and a multi-positional guard, but needs a true point guard to round out the mix. Cassius Winston and Quentin Goodin are the two point guards with Michigan offers, but the Wolverines have also been evaluating CJ Walker, Bryce Aiken, Bruce Brown, Kevin Huerter and others at that spot.

After a handful of recruiting disappointments over the last several, landing an early commitment from Battle is a major coup for John Beilein. When Battle arrives, Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin will be seniors and Aubrey Dawkins, Kameron Chatman and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman will all be juniors. Battle should fit in very nicely with that group in a team that should be able to compete for the Big Ten.

  • Anonymous

    Beilein can get high end guards and small forwards. Not a surprise. It would be a surprise if Beilein got a high end center (McGary).

    • Lanknows

      Don’t be surprised if Teske ends up ranked in the top 50-75 range. Maybe not a 5 star, but a 7 footer with some skills could be the big Beilein needs to create more cachet with big name centers. There’s been a lot of talk that Michigan will recruit like Wisconsin, but they’ve recruited top 20/5-star big men in the past and they can do it again. Success breeds success. McGary developing into an consistent NBA contributor could be huge for Michigan/Beilein.

      • winners choice

        The way Davis has been playing… he can become a 4 star as well.

    • MAZS

      Our high end recruits under Beilein have been: McGary, Chatman, GRIII, Irvin and to a lesser extent Walton. That’s a 5, a 4, a 3-4, a 2-4 and a point. That looks like pretty much every position.

  • UMTigersWingsLions

    Now maybe we can land one of the great point guards with his commitment :)

  • bobohle

    YES! I knew this day would come soon. Goodin next PLEASE!

    • winners choice

      Give me WINSTON, A IN STATE KID with talent.

  • Lanknows

    Whose got it better than us? Nobody! … Harbaugh/football origins but IMO it applies to basketball more. Not only do we have the best offensive coach in basketball, who runs a clean program with high character kids, great coaches and an enjoyable style of play, but now (finally!) we see some of the success pay off on the recruiting trail. Beilein plus 5-star talent = sky’s the limit. It’s great to be…

    • bobohle

      a MICHIGAN WOLVERINE! YOU BETSA!

  • David Remmler

    Ok, I admit it.. I was too pessimistic.

    But basketball recruiting is pretty random and unpredictable.

    Battle’s commitment is huge and makes 2016 an awesome class already. If there is any early attrition this coming year, I think we have a pretty good shot at landing an elite PG. Basketball recruiting seems to be like dominoes… Once you get one top commit, another is more likely to follow.

    And Beilein has now proven that McGary wasn’t an anomaly – he can bring in elite recruits.

    • Lanknows

      I expect you’ll hear soon that they are telling recruits they have one spot for PG still open. Expect attrition via NBA, transfer, or a rumored prep year for Davis (going from most to least likely IMO).

      Playing along Battle should help the effort.

      For Michigan, it’s ideal to keep Walton through the LeVert to Battle transition and have someone who is willing to play behind Walton for one year before taking the reigns. As Spike and Walton have shown they can play together, I think they’ll be able to make a convincing argument that a 3-man backcourt (Walton, Battle, PG Recruit) can work great…not to mention being able to point to the Burke-THJ-Stauskas lineup of 3 NBA guards on one team.

      • UMTigersWingsLions

        Well, there is no incoming PG recruit that can push SR. DW away. Whoever its going to be, he will be the backup, and learn from the best. I just hope we get someone good.

  • Jake

    looks like a Caris clone, now lets get Goodin!!!

    • bobohle

      AMEN!!!!!

  • gobluemd16

    Reminds me of a rising NBA SG… Bradley Beal

  • Mattski

    But should be a better defender than Timmy, right? We are going to be tall and much stronger defensively down the road here. . .

    • He’s also a better ball handler than Tim at this phase of his career as well.

      • Mark Worthley

        Per 247, “It appears that the Wolverines will look to finish out with a point guard in the class, with Detroit (MI)’s Cassius Winston and Chatsworth (CA)’s Devearl Ramsey being among the remaining targets on their board.”

        How can they add another recruit if they are already maxed out for 2016-2017 season? If they knew someone would transfer, why wouldn’t it have already happened?

        • Per this post, I also expect Michigan to focus on point guard recruiting to close the class. The scholarship situation wouldn’t need to be worked out until next spring.

          • Mark Worthley

            You did say the focus would shift to point guard, but I wasn’t sure if you meant beyond the class of 2016. 247 explicitly said they were recruiting a point guard for 2016.

            I guess they are going to let these guys compete, and then if someone isn’t making it, they feel confident in their ability to nudge a transfer?

          • I was only talking about the 2016 class in this post. The roster has some jams and I would suspect we’ll see some attrition after this year — I’d also expect Michigan to recruit like that, because that’s the only way you can really go about things without getting caught empty handed.

          • bobohle

            100% correct on your last sentence.

          • winners choice

            Please Stop the transfer speculations. Just let the situation work out.

          • Mark Worthley

            How can the roster stay intact and add a point guard next year?

        • bobohle

          Don’t forget GOODIN!

        • gpsimms

          A few years ago when we got McGary (I think it was McGary) there wasn’t enough room on the roster in the following season.

          I got myself all worried about running kids off, and that we were going to be like Alabama oversigning etc. A few days later, Brundidge, Colton Christian, and Smotrich all transferred. Then dudes started leaving for the NBA left and right. Basically, I have learned to never worry about ‘oversigning’ in basketball.

      • bobohle

        Also body ready physically.

  • Kenny

    Any pundit see this one coming? There have been a LOT of surprises lately. I am glad that Coach Beilein finally has a break. Go Blue.

  • Stephen Chang

    I love it!!! A early surprise for sure but should help us after Levert leaves

  • winners choice

    Did Caris shrink? I though that he was 6 ft 7 ? Anyhow, I could be more happier with this commitment. Wow.

    • UMTigersWingsLions

      I think cus he’s in the background a little, he looks shorter

  • UMTigersWingsLions

    It would be awesome to get PG Cassius Winston now. He’s from Detroit too.

    • Jake

      A lot of people are saying Trey is poor man’s Allen Iverson, I think Cassius should be satisfied if he’s only half as good as Burke.

    • Indiana_Matt

      A Detroit commitment would be very nice.

  • gpsimms

    Just curious: has there been any talk about whether Battle is a likely 1-and-done type?

    My two second look at film says no, that he’s not explosive enough of an athlete, but I’m just curious if there are any quotes from him or the recruiting services about what kind of plans he has.

    • I’ve had a couple of people ask me this question and it’s really hard to say. He’s not one of those guaranteed top-five pick one-and-dones that you would see from say a Jaylen Brown, but in today’s climate he’s more than capable of playing his way into the lottery in a year.

      Caris struggled and missed a whole season, but his package of length, guard skills and shooting still made him an intriguing fit. Battle already has some of those NBA measurables (and he’s not a bad athlete by any means) and I would expect his game to continue to grow.

      He’s also not a kid that I think is dead set on getting to the NBA now and as soon as possible. It’s certainly a goal and one that he should reach, but it’s hard to say if he’s a 1 and done, 2 and done or what.

  • Mattski

    Dare I say that I think Battle is a better fit than Brown would have been, more likely to work in Beilein’s team concept? Maybe even going to be more college-ready–I still think Brown’s hops were a little bit suspect.

    He does address one criticism of the Beilein-bashers–that he’s not going after aggressive players. This guy moves to the hole with both a second gear and great authority.