Zero McDonald's All-Americans < Seven Pros

The father of 2016 Gill (N.J.) St. Bernard's five-star wing Tyus Battle, Michigan's newest basketball commitment, has strong words and even greater belief in John Beilein's ability to mentor his son for years to come.

The list is plentiful, overflowing with names of some of the best college basketball players in the country as well as those set to follow in their footsteps for years to come.

John Beilein and the Michigan basketball program missed on elite target after elite target.

Jae'Sean Tate to Ohio State. Devin Booker, gone to Kentucky and now a potential NBA lottery pick this summer. Luke Kennard is ready to be the next great shooting wing at Duke. Derryck Thornton Jr. reclassifies and opts for the Blue Devils as well.

Evaluation has never been the issue for Beilein and the Wolverines, with several of the aforementioned former recruiting targets moving from sleeper to top 20 talent nationally as the years went on.

The problem, if it should be termed that way, has been reeling one of those elite talents into the boat, but that all changed Monday with the verbal commitment of 2016 Gill (N.J.) St. Bernard's five-star wing Tyus Battle.

After spending the weekend in Ann Arbor for the third official visit of the recruiting process, Battle's father Gary left the trip with one question unanswered.

“I would say what stuck out in my mind and what I took away from this is I can’t believe they don’t get more guys that are top whatever guys because it is about as good a place that I’ve seen, and I’ve been to a lot of places,” Battle said. “And that’s a fact. Otherwise, I would not be letting my kid go there. They’re a phenomenal staff. 

"They have zero McDonald’s All-American’s and seven pros. That’s about as good a stat as you can find. And if you care about academics, and all of us parents say we do, you’re talking about one of the best Universities in the country and probably in the world with all of the resources you could imagine. It’s just a great place.”

But doesn't Beilein have a different type of recruiting style that elite players just can't relate to?


What Beilein found in Battle however is the perfect combination of a player Michigan began the recruiting process with early, the potential to be yet another pro walking through the doors in Ann Arbor, while also sharing the same vision on and off the court, buying into it big time.

For Battle's father, Beilein and his approach clicked before even engaging in a conversation.

“Without even having any words with the man what stood out was just some of the stuff he did with his team,” Battle said. “The synergy between the players, the pro style of sharing in terms of how it compared to how the Spurs play basketball. 

"And then you talk to him and you see how much he cares just about people in general and about his guys and his program, it was something that immediately made me think it would be a good fit for Tyus.”

The first time Battle laid eyes on Michigan in a live setting came during the No. 1 versus No. 2 match-up at Indiana in the winter of 2013.

Visiting the Hoosiers, truly in the early stages of evaluating basketball programs not just from an entertainment standpoint anymore but for a potential home for his son, the Wolverines caught his eye. 

“I noticed how (Michigan) played their guys, the wings and let their guards go, Battle said. “Everybody touched the basketball so there’s lots of sharing involved so that’s what really opened my eyes about their style of play. 

"As time went on and then they started to contact Tyus, we began to feel it was a possibility. Then we went to the Elite Camp and it went on and on from there.”

Ranked as the No. 10 overall player in the country in the 2016 class, Battle comes in with the classification, ability and fanfare requisite enough to be a one and done type of player.

The question is, will that be the plan for Battle and his family?

“My thought process in thinking about where he was going to school is go unpack your bags, be prepared to stay for four years,” Battle said. “Whatever happens after that we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. That’s what I tell him, tell any kid or parent or anybody else. 

"I don’t believe in kids going to school and already being ready to leave so you pack your bags like you’re staying four years and if the opportunity arises, like everything else, we’ll evaluate it thoroughly.”

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