Jay Wright, Eddie Jordan Looking to Keep Tyus Battle Close to Home | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Saturday / April 1.
  • Jay Wright, Eddie Jordan Looking to Keep Tyus Battle Close to Home

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    While national powerhouses Louisville and Kentucky come into Gill St. Bernard’s this week and try to take one of New Jersey’s top talents out of the region for college, the local schools are¬†working to keep Tyus Battle close to home.

    Villanova coach Jay Wright and Rutgers coach Eddie Jordan watched the 6-foot-5 2016 guard work out Thursday at Gill St. Bernard’s and made a similar pitch.

    “They said that he would obviously be an integral part of their programs and it would be a big deal for a kid at his level to stay at home who is being recruited by everybody in the country,” Gary Battle told SNY.tv. “Both of them said, ‘Let’s keep this guy at home.'”

    Battle is being recruited at the highest levels — with visits slated for Kentucky and Duke in October — and the local schools will have their hands full trying to keep him from leaving the area.

    Kentucky coach John Calipari is due into Gill on Friday to make his pitch, and Louisville coach Rick Pitino was the first coach at the school on Tuesday.

    Villanova is riding the momentum of landing 2015 point guard Jalen Brunson on Wednesday and has a long track record of developing guards. Wright also knows the Battle family and has been recruiting Tyus for several years.

    “He’s been recruiting Tyus for a number of years, they’ve developed a relationship,” Gary said. “He talked about how the people on campus, the professors and the athletic director speak so highly of Tyus and they all have stories about him, because [Wright] hung around campus a little bit today.”

    Gary said it’s possible Tyus may visit Villanova for its Midnight Madness

    “We may try to make Villanova’s Midnight Madness,” Gary said. “It’s the day before Duke’s so we’d probably have to fly out of Philly.”

    Rutgers is pitching its upcoming move into the Big Ten, where Battle is also being heavily recruited by Michigan and Ohio State.

    “Eddie said, ‘Keep him home, let’s shock the world,'” Gary said. “We’re in the Big Ten, we’re getting recruited by Big Ten schools, we can make a nice jump into the Big Ten with Tyus. It’s flattering.”

    Next up: Coach Cal on Friday.

    “Is tomorrow Friday already?” Gary quipped. “Holy mackerel.”

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.