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 withdraws from NBA Draft, heading back to Syracuse
By ADAM ZAGORIATyus Battle, the Syracuse sophomore wing and former New Jersey prep star, will withdraw from the NBA Draft and return to Syracuse.
“I have decided to go back to Syracuse University to complete my junior year,” said Battle 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.
“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.”
The 6-foot-6 Edison, N.J., native worked out for the Knicks, Lakers, Clippers, Nets and Magic, but apparently did not get a first-round guarantee.
“He went through the process and the process is designed to give guys a good feel for where they are,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheimtold the Syracuse Post-Standard. “I think he can come very, very close to graduation and I think that’s a good thing for him. These are always difficult decisions.”
Battle, who averaged 19.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists last season, was projected as the No. 40 pick in the Draft to the Nets, per the latest ESPN.com mock.
“Testing is always smart, see if you can get in the Combine, see if how many workouts you can get and receive some feedback directly from teams,” one NBA scout said of Battle before he played at the Combine.
“It’s hard to gauge [where he might get drafted]. Off of his play at Syracuse, probably mid- to late-second but there’s a lot of knowledgeable basketball people that seem to believe he’s a much better player than he’s shown at Syracuse.”
If Battle, who has the option of graduating in three years, had left campus, Syracuse would have lost both him and heralded recruit Darius Bazley,who opted for the NBA G League instead of going to Syracuse.
Now Battle figures to be one of the top players in the ACC, and possibly the nation.
Syracuse has a three-man recruiting class featuring New Jersey combo guard Jalen Carey, wing Buddy Boeheim and power forward Robert Braswell.
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.