Kentucky Goes Three Deep on Meeting With Tyus Battle; Coach K, Boeheim Due in Next Week | Zagsblog
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Wednesday / February 28.
  • Kentucky Goes Three Deep on Meeting With Tyus Battle; Coach K, Boeheim Due in Next Week

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    IMG_6016A.JPGKentucky went three deep in its meeting Thursday with 2016 guard Tyus Battle of Gladstone (N.J.) Gill St. Bernard’s, with head coach John Calipari joined by assistants Kenny Payne and Barry “Slice” Rohrssen.

    Calipari had a whirlwind day in the New York-New Jersey area, with meetings with 2015 forward Cheick Diallo and 2015 guard Isaiah Briscoe also on the docket.

    “He was awesome, the visit was awesome,” Gary Battle, the player’s father, told Thursday evening.

    “We sat down with the Headmaster of our school, it’s a very serious academic place and then Cal talked about the importance of academics. He presented some of the numbers about graduation rates and things like that. He said if kids have the opportunity to go one-and-done or two-and-done, they have the opportunity to come back and graduate. Some do and some don’t. They have a 3.0 GPA as a team. He talked about Tyus’s opportunity to be part of something special.

    “He wouldn’t be here if didn’t really, really want to coach him.”

    Asked how that made Gary and Tyus feel, the father said, “Tremendous, tremendous. It’s a historic university and a historic basketball program, going back to Adolph Rupp and Joe B. Hall and Rick Pitino.

    “It was awesome, it was a good visit. I’m glad we did it.”

    Battle, who picked up a Kentucky offer this summer during a visit to campus, is due to visit the school Oct. 17 for “Big Blue Madness.”

    He also remains tight with 2016 Findlay Prep point guard Derryck Thornton, with whom Calipari met on Monday.

    Battle and Thornton aren’t a package deal but are good friends.

    “With the both of us and our kids feel the same way, if it works [it works],” Gary said. “At the end of the day, he wants Derryck to be happy and it’s gotta be for Derryck. And it’s the same for Tyus. He’s gotta go there for four years or whatever. I have my own dreams for him, but that’s gotta be his dream.

    “If it happens. We’re fortunate that we have some outstanding opportunities as two separate families. We probably talk about it once or twice a week, but a lot of our conversations are not based on where our kids are going to school.”

    Meantime, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheimfresh off their gold medal in the FIBA World Cup and subsequent defense against a scathing Yahoo! Sports article — are due in next week.

    Coach K and assistant Jon Scheyer are due Wednesday, and Boeheim and Mike Hopkins are expected Friday.

    Virginia’s Tony Bennett, UConn’s Kevin Ollie,  Miami’s Jim Larranaga,  Louisville’s Rick Pitino, Villanova’s Jay Wright, Rutgers’ Eddie Jordan, Michigan’s John Beilein, Ohio State’s Thad Matta and Florida’s Billy Donovan have also made their pitches to Battle.

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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.

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