Now the key cog for Gladstone (N.J.) Gill St. Bernard’s basketball team, 2016 five-star combo guard Tyus Battle dealt with added attention on the court his sophomore season.
Routinely having double and triple teams sent his way playing more on the ball than he’s been accustomed to, Battle was still able to lead St. Bernard’s to a 20-8 finish this year, losing in the second round of the state tournament.
“We had three division one players that we lost (from a year ago),” Battle’s father Gary said. “So we didn’t return any division one players except Tyus and Tyus is a sophomore. So, it is new.”
“I think he handled it pretty well. Usually I’m his hardest critic but I think he handled it very well. He was patient, didn’t force a lot at all; I was hoping he’d force a couple more shots but he’s really not that kind of kid at this point in time.
“He just let it come to him and he still wound up averaging 23 points a game and like seven rebounds and did it with pretty good percentages across the board.”
Now already one tournament deep in AAU season, Battle is once again finding himself in unfamiliar territory.
Playing with a new team this year including the likes of five-star 6-foot-9, 210-pound center Cheick Diallo, Battle used the first tournament with his new squad to carve out his role and cement himself as a dependable playmaker.
“I think it went great,” Battle said. “I really like the guys on the new team and I think we’re going to be a really good team down the road.”
“The main thing about it is all the guys share the ball and they’ve really accepted Tyus cause he’s the young guy on the team,” Battle’s father added. “He’s got to find his way but he did a pretty good job.
“I think as the tournament went on he got better and better. The last game he started rebounding the ball a little more so when you’re 6-5, 6-6, you got to rebound the ball.”
Up from 175 to now 190-pounds, Battle’s size dictates he spend some time on the glass, now possessing the ability to be even more effective in the open floor, jump starting the fast break instead of hurriedly circling back for an outlet pass.
“It’s great cause it helps out my game a lot,” Battle said. “Once you get the rebound you can always push the ball up or find the open man who’s running the floor so it opens some other things up.”
Battle’s father adding, “He had about eight rebounds the last game which I was happy with. They respect you more when you get down there and grind some out.”
Off the court, the Battle’s remain focused on grinding out criteria that will create and shape the nature of a verbal commitment to the college of their choice.
Currently holding offers from Connecticut, Indiana, Miami (Fla.), Ohio State, Providence, Rhode Island, Rutgers, Seton Hall, SMU, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, Villanova, Washington, and Xavier, with heavy interest from Duke, Kentucky, and Michigan, Battle and his family aren’t narrowly focused on just basketball.
“He’s got two more years left so we’re going to go through the process and look at all the things other than basketball, which is very important as well,” Battle’s father said. “Tyus is going to want to get on campus and look at places, see how he fits in like he did with his high school.
“He’s a different kind of kid; not just a basketball guy.”
Mentioning academics first as well, Battle himself notes a passionate fan base wouldn’t be bad either.
“Of course the academics part of it and the coaches, how they develop their players,” Battle said. “And the community as well. To me, I really like a basketball community, like a strong basketball base. That’s always a plus.”
For more on the schools recruiting Battle and how they’re faring at this stage, as well as who was out to see him during the first week of the evaluation period, stay on Scout.com in the coming hours.