He does not back down from older people and he is about to be a rising junior in the fall of 2015, but this kid is special. 2016 recruit Tyus Battle, a 6-foot-5 sophomore, goes to school at Gill St. Bernard's School in New Jersey and is one of the most highly touted recruits in his class. You would probably ask why is he not playing for Team Final, a team that is based out of the area. Well, Battle decided to go play with Team Scan, who is coached by Terrance "Munich" Williams. This team includes two of the best in the Class of 2015 in 6-foot-9 forward Cheick Diallo and 6-foot-10 forward Thomas Bryant. BECB asked Williams about what has Tyus added to the team and he had some really good things to say.
"Tyus has brought maturity, leadership, and experience to the program. An extremely hard working and humble talent. Beyond his years and skill wise." Williams told Big East Coast Bias, who is the force behind Team Scan.
Williams convinced Tyus and his dad to Gary to move from Team Final and make the switch over to Team Scan, and that decision is really paying off for Tyus. The switch has really paid off for Tyus because he is now developing leadership skills. He also has developed some good abilities since playing with Team Scan because they recently qualified for Peach Jam, the famed event located in Georgia.
With Tyus making the switch, he had a period in which he had to adjust to some new things such as being more of leader and learning how to play with older and elite kids.
The players that I am talking about are Diallo and Bryant. The transition for Tyus has made was not smooth for him, but he is enjoying it. Recently he played in the Mary Kline Classic, an event located in New Jersey set up by Alex Kline to help fundraise money for cancer. And as it turned out, Tyus played well in the event and has certainly enjoyed playing at the next level as well.
"Your playing against the best kids in the country." Battle told BECB at the Mary Kline Classic. "This is also what he wants to do because if he was playing 16U, it would not help him develop as much as he would like to. The competition he would be playing against is not on his level, but EYBL is something serious, you cannot take possessions off."
I asked Battle why he moved up, and it is a reason why a lot of top players in the Class if 2016 decide to play up.
"It prepares you for college and it is a different type of game," Battle remarked with a smile on his face. That is a true statement because the way these kids come out and compete, it really amazes a lot of people. In addition to Battle, the top prospects in his class are playing up as well. If he was playing 16U, he would not be playing against guys like Jayson Tatum or Dennis Smith Jr. These are some of the top players in his class and he is playing against them. This is a huge step for him because the only thing he is trying to do is grow as a basketball player and has a human being.
Tyus is really working on one thing, and that one thing that he is really working on his leadership. I asked him about that and he noted, " Leadership and trying to impact the game in other ways." The amount of exposure he is getting in trying to develop his game is really good for him. As he is trying to learn how to play with top stars, the transition he has made is really something that catches my eye when I watch him play.
For Battle, playing high school basketball and playing EYBL is completely different for him because for his high school basketball team, he is like the lead force on the team. But for EYBL, he is the third-leading leading scorer on the team as Diallo and Bryant are the top two. I asked Battle to talk about the differences, and he told me, "The things they do and a lot of the kids are better on the circuit." One thing that Battle did note to me was that by him playing for Team Scan, "They allow me to run the point more and they have a lot of big men." The togetherness of Team Scan is really good and Battle impact is huge as his coach noted to me.
One thing that Tyus has in his favor is that his dad Gary Battle is a trainer. By him being a trainer, Tyus' development has come with a lot of hard work and a lot help. When I asked Tyus about his dad's impact on his workout, he jokingly laugh and stated, "He keeps it real with me a lot." Since Tyus is playing with Team Scan, he explained that it did not take him a long time to adjust to a new system. That is a good skill to learn as the point guard of the team and in general for a lot of the kids that are playing AAU.
An opportunity that a lot of kids live for at Tyus' age is getting a chance to tryout for USA Basketball's U18 team. This month is something that he is really looking forward to. "You are playing against the Top 25 in the two classes, and you get to compete and you got the best coaches that is coaching you." He will be trying to compete for a spot, and that is something he's really looking forward to. If he does not make it, it will still be something that he can look back on and be happy because some kids do not even get the opportunity to try out.
But many people believe that he will wind up making the team.
In terms of recruitment with Tyus, he has a lot of high D1 schools that are recruitment. Some of the schools that are recruiting him are Syracuse, Connecitcut, Seton Hall, Villanova, and many more. He has a set visit date with UCONN and one with Kentucky coming up too, which is on June 17. Tyus is trying to take an a visit to Michigan soon as well.
One thing to note is that Villanova is still in the mix to get him even though schools like Kentucky and UCONN are recruiting him. I asked him how involve Georgetown is with his recruitment and he told me that they were "Really involved and they have been talking to my dad a lot."
He has a long way to go, but Tyus Battle is just playing basketball and having fun.