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.
Tyus Battle is down to seven schools.
The 6-foot-6, five-star combo guard out of Gladstone (N.J.) Gill St. Bernard’s cut his list to Louisville, UConn, Michigan, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Duke.
Surprisingly, Kentucky was cut from the list, along with Florida, Villanova and Virginia.
“We had some core values and we have some particulars on how they wanted to play him,” Gary Battle, the player’s father, told SNY.tv by phone on Monday. “He was really big on that, how they were going to play him. He wanted to have the opportunity to play on the ball and play off the ball. If a school for the most part told him he wasn’t going to have an opportunity to play on the ball, and he was going to have to play on the wing, they got cut. Even if they told us they were going to and we didn’t see it in their system — we watched a lot of basketball — we cut them.
“It really was that because he liked all the schools. He had a great relationship with every coach, and I had a great relationship with every coach.”
As for cutting Kentucky, Gary Battle told Syracuse.com: “People don’t understand how unique Tyus is, and I’m not saying that just because I’m his father. I’ve coached AAU basketball. He doesn’t get enamored with somebody’s status. He takes everything at face value. For him, it’s, ‘Does he fit with the program? How is he going to play?’ That’s just the way he is. I wanted him to keep Kentucky on his list, but he didn’t want to.”
Gary said they are working on two official visits to Duke and Louisville.
“We’re definitely going to take a visit to both schools, it’s a matter of when,” he told SNY.tv by phone on Monday. “It depends on how the state playoffs go. Whenever the season’s over, that’s the plan.”
He added: “Duke’s been trying to get us up for an official visit for about a month, we just haven’t had the chance to do it. We wanted to initially go to the Notre Dame game, and then we just couldn’t find a time to do it.
“We want to do an official visit because we’ve taken a lot of unofficial visits.”
Virtually every head coach on the list passed through Gill St. Bernard’s this fall to see Battle except for Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, who got involved recently and is expected to come Wednesday when Gill plays St. Benedict’s Prep.
“Notre Dame’s coming on Wednesday,” Gary said. “Everybody else has been there. I don’t think most coaches are going to come anymore because they’ve been here a lot.”
Gary also said the recruitment could end sooner rather than later.
“It could be anytime,” Gary said. “We’re not timetable people, we’re feeling people. When it feels the right thing to do, he’s not going to wait. He’s going to have to compete no matter where he goes and we have a whole lot of confidence in him, especially in the future.
“He’s 205, he was 185 pounds last year, he’s only going to get better.”
**For more on Tyus Battle, watch our SNY.tv documentary “The Battle Plan” here.
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.