Battle Can ‘Envision Himself' at Michigan

2016 Gill St. Bernard's (N.J.) five-star shooting guard Tyus Battle made his way to Ann Arbor with his father this past weekend. Battle's father details the visit, his impressions of the Michigan staff, how the Wolverines helped themselves, and more.

Arriving Friday for a weekend visit to Michigan, 2016 Gill St. Bernard’s (N.J.) five-star shooting guard Tyus Battle and his father Gary were privy to a very detailed experience in Ann Arbor.

Not simply considering Battle to be just a basketball player, both he and his father walked away impressed with the total package the Wolverines basketball program could provide.

“Speaking for Tyus and myself, we were pretty much in sync that the total opportunity is what stood out,” Battle’s father said. “There’s really not anything missing from the actual aesthetics, the school grounds are beautiful, gorgeous, new buildings everywhere, the academic opportunity is tremendous.

“He was really excited about all the opportunities he can do things on campus, proximity and everything in terms of getting there. From that standpoint it was just really full of a lot of things and a lot of opportunity. We really loved it.”

Afforded the opportunity of extended one on one time with Michigan coach John Beilein, the Battle’s were not only blown away by Beilein’s success on the basketball floor, but also by the personal touch put into their unofficial visit.

“Thoroughly impressed with John Beilein,” Battle said. “He’s a basketball genius. From an offensive perspective he is as good as you get. Believe me I went back home and looked at some of the actual numbers in terms of some of the stars these guys have come in with, the fan fare, and what the results have been.

“The national championship game you have five guys, you have one probably top 20 guy and you have basically five pros. I mean, those are pretty good numbers and from my standpoint, I even like the way it’s been done because everyone seems to have had their turn instead of everyone leaving all at once; I kind of like that better.

“And I also was very impressed with the Morgan kid and what he went away with at least one Big Ten championship, a final four appearance, and playing late in the national championship so the four year deal looked pretty good too. I don’t think you can lose.”

Riding shotgun with Beilein and a large reason for Michigan’s success on the floor in recent years has come in the form of the assistants LaVall Jordan, Jeff Meyer and Bacari Alexander.

“I was thoroughly impressed with those guys,” Battle said. “Very organized and thorough and jovial and really good people. We got a really good vibe from them.”

“We talked about using Tyus on ball screens and some of the things he’d do. It’s good because it would be a pretty easy transition for him in terms of ball screens and handling the ball because he’s a very good ball handler for 6-5, 6-6 and they have a lot to work with.

“They talked about who he would be compared to and who he would work his game like or use him like and they said Tim Hardaway Jr. or Caris LeVert. That’s pretty exciting stuff and Tyus was pretty juiced up. Those are obviously great players with a lot of success.”

Two years from now, Battle knows he’ll be sending his son off to be a student-athlete at a major University, possibly not even within reasonable driving distance.

Engaging with Michigan’s coaching staff the entire weekend, Battle’s comfort level and trust that his son would be taken care of looms large in this recruitment.

“That was what I was most comfortable with and that’s what I’m looking for mostly to be honest with you,” Battle said. “Whether you’re the first guy or the 13th guy I don’t think there’s a difference the way he treats them.

“I’ve got a guy I know that played for him for a year named Willington Smith and he played for him at West Virginia. Beilein went on to Michigan in 2007 or so and he still talks to the guy on the phone. That says a lot about the guy, the man.

“We already know about the basketball coach but the man, you’ve got to get to know. It seems like he’s ethical and a good person.”

On and off the court, Battle gained an appreciation for what Michigan has to offer, especially having watched the enormous amounts of success the team and individual players have had before him.

“He was real excited,” Battle said. “Just comfortable in that environment, with the coaches, he had nothing negative to say. Everything was all polished, cache, the Michigan cache. And honestly the record will speak for itself.

“He was able to envision himself he said, playing because there were guys similar to him that have come through or that are at the school right now. He’s very comfortable with those guys knowing what they’re doing.”

Looking ahead to June 15, the day Battle will certainly be in line to receive an official scholarship offer from Michigan, Battle’s father says it’s one his son has been waiting on for quite some time.

“It’s going to be huge,” he said. “It’s one of the schools that he wanted to offer him, especially after the last couple years of watching them play and how wings and guards and the way they use ball screens and how innovative Beilein is and the staff has been.

“They’ve been as good as any program in the country the last couple years and any kid would be flattered, deeply flattered. He’s excited about it.”

As far as when a decision could be rendered from Battle, that appears to be far off for the moment and on the backburner in the midst of a very busy summer on the basketball court.

Either way, Michigan put themselves in a good position following the visit.

“We haven’t discussed that yet,” Battle said. “He’s just taking it all in. I think after the spring, now into the summer I think we’ll have that discussion but right now we’re just taking it all in and just trying to focus on getting better. Tyus is really focused on getting better and getting bigger and stronger.

“It’s definitely something that’s probably a little bit more, getting closer and closer, when you got a place like Michigan.”

Battle’s father adding, “I’m looking forward to seeing how this turns out. Cause there’s a couple of things I hope to know for my guy but either way we’re still going to look thoroughly at Michigan regardless. There’s a lot there.”

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