Tyus Battle to return for junior year at SU

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on May 30, 2018 at 5:35 pm Contact Billy: wmheyen@syr.edu | @Wheyen3 UPDATED: May 30, 2018 at 10:48 p.m.Tyus Battle has withdrawn his name from the NBA Draft and will return to Syracuse for his junior season, per CBS College Basketball Insider Jon Rothstein. In an SU Athletics release, Battle had the following comments.“I have decided to go back to Syracuse University to complete my junior year,” Battle said on Wednesday night. “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.“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.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“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.”In Battle’s first two years at SU, he raised his scoring average from 11.3 points per game as a freshman to 19.2 as a sophomore. Battle topped the nation in minutes per game (39) as a sophomore, as well. Behind Battle’s 14.5 points per game in the NCAA Tournament, he carried the Orange on an improbable run to the Sweet 16, winning three games in five days before losing to Duke.Battle has already scored more than 1,000 points in his Syracuse career. Only four other players in SU history reached that total by the end of their sophomore seasons. His 712 points as a sophomore were the most scored by an sophomore in SU history.His return stabilizes the Orange amid a somewhat tumultuous offseason that featured Matthew Moyer and Braedon Bayer’s transfers, as well as Darius Bazley’s decision to head to the NBA G League instead of SU. He’ll be joining other returners Frank Howard, Oshae Brissett, Marek Dolezaj, Paschal Chukwu, Bourama Sidibe and Howard Washington.SU will return all five of the players from the starting lineup it relied on in the second half of last season: Howard, Battle, Brissett, Dolezaj and Chukwu. All three of the Orange’s consistent scorers — Battle, Brissett and Howard — return for Syracuse.Battle’s nation-leading minutes per game could be eased by the addition of three guards to SU’s lineup: East Carolina transfer Elijah Hughes and freshmen Jalen Carey and Buddy Boeheim. Hughes averaged 7.8 points per game in his lone year at ECU.Battle had attended the NBA Draft Combine and worked out for a handful of teams, including the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks. His physical measurements ranked impressively compared with his fellow prospects, but reports suggest NBA teams wanted to see more from Battle as a shooter — he shot 32.2 percent from 3 in 2017-18 — and a playmaker, rather than just the isolation scorer he was often relied upon as at SU.  Commentslast_img

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