One of the most highly recruited wing prospects in America resides at Gill (N.J.) St. Bernard’s school in 2016 five-star small forward Tyus Battle.
Now into fall after wrapping up a summer schedule that took Battle overseas, also cross-country and back, competing on the basketball floor, Battle’s father Gary says his son needed to take some time to rest up.
“The last month has been really focused on healing his body, working on his body getting bigger and stronger and getting visits from college coaches,” Battle said.
“We’re trying to get some time off and I think that’s very important from basically having eight months straight of basketball, pretty much everyday so he took about three weeks off. He did some shooting but he hasn’t played, hasn’t done anything.”
Understandably so for a young man that did quite a bit over the summer, spending weeks in Dubai helping the United States under-17 basketball team win a gold medal, finishing a perfect 7-0.
“I learned a lot about Tyus over the years but he showed me he’s very resilient, even more resilient than I thought he was,” Battle said. “The first time he didn’t make the team and he came out with a different mindset and he had to really make an adjustment throughout the course, from the spring to the summer.
“He took that Steph Curry camp and all these other positive experiences, as well as the negative ones, and he went with a chip on his shoulder and made the team which wasn’t easy with 33, some of the best players in the country in 2015 and 2016.”
Finishing his summer at the Elite 24 in New York, Battle once again proved his worth as a highly regarded basketball recruit for major college basketball programs.
“He takes everything in stride,” Battle said. “Happy with the way everything ended on a very good note and in the final four in the best tournament in the country and probably in the world on the high school level other than USA basketball.”
Battle’s father adding, “It’s good to see that he can play with the best in the country, which I’m not surprised at but it just shows he can play under pressure. There’s a lot of pressure for guys out there like that.”
This month, several college coaches have rolled through St. Bernard’s hoping to get a glimpse of Battle and of course add in some face time with the No.3 rated small forward himself, as well as his father.
The Wolverines actually sent a three-coach contingent to New Jersey to check-in with the Battles.
“We had LaVall jordan, Jeff Meyer and Coach Beilein and it was a great experience,” Battle said. “They did a great job explaining what the University has to offer, explaining how they develop their players and how they see Tyus in their system.
“It was really awesome from that perspective and they did a good job of laying it all out there for him. He’d have an opportunity to play, they’re recruiting him as a player and they gave us some examples of some of the guys that obviously are playing there now and some of the guys that came before him like (Nik) Stauskas and Tim Hardaway and Caris LeVert.
“They’re guys that look similar to Tyus and have similar games to Tyus and some of the skill sets that he can really relate to.”
Michigan allocating three of their four man coaching staff to meet with the Battles resonated well, displaying their true interest in the 6-foot-6, 195-pound scorer.
“That was a big deal,” Battle said. “Nobody else had done that, everybody else brought two. We appreciate the two but three is awesome.
“It really stood out because everybody partook in the actually presentation with him and they’ve always, from the beginning when Michigan started recruiting him, all of those guys have been involved so it shows they’re completely immersed in his recruitment.”
On the quieter side and not seeking the limelight or added attention that can come with a recruiting process, Battle says his son appears to have a strong relationship with Michigan’s staff as well.
“He’s really receptive and we like them a lot,” Battle said. “Their vision is similar to ours as far as what kind of player we think he is and he feels pretty comfortable with them.”
After previously visiting campus in June for Michigan’s basketball camp, the Battles don’t have a firm plan for a return trip to Ann Arbor but it does appear likely those details could be worked out in the future.
“What we’re going to do is after this is all over which will be next week, we’re going to sit down and discuss that,” Battle said. “I have some idea but at this point there’s nothing confirmed. I think Michigan will get a visit from us if they want it.”
“They’re not really trying to pressure guys,” Battle added. “We’ve been there. We want to focus on first the schools we haven’t been to that there’s some mutual interest and try to focus on those schools. Then once we do that we can figure out what schools we’re going to go back to.”
As far as when the Battles plan to release a top list of schools, that could happen sooner than later.
“We’ve discussed possibly narrowing the list down to 10 schools before the season starts,” Battle said.