Hoop Team Lands a Verbal

The Penn State basketball program is hurting for scoring punch and athleticism in the backcourt. Saturday, the Nittany Lions took a step toward filling that need when they secured a verbal commitment from Talor Battle, a combo guard from Bishop Maginn High in Albany, N.Y.

The rub? Battle is only a junior, and will not be eligible to play for Penn State until the 2007-08 season. But make no mistake, the Nittany Lions must be thrilled to have him.

Battle was in town Saturday to watch PSU face Wisconsin. The Lion guards scored a total of 11 points in the game.

"He was there last night on an another unofficial [visit],” Maginn coach Rich Hurley said. “It was his third trip down there in the last six months, and he verballed to Coach DeChellis."

DeChellis and assistant Kurt Kanaskie led Battle's recruitment.

According to Hurley, Battle is averaging 29 points per game as a junior and already has a pair of 40-point efforts to his credit this season. He is an outstanding 3-point shooter who plays mostly two guard now but projects as a scoring point guard at the next level.

Battle checks in at 5-foot-11, 160 pounds.

“Talor shoots the ball really well,” Hurley said. “He's a great leader with great court vision. He gets his teammates involved. But he's a scorer. He likes to play up-tempo and can really get in the lane; he'll drive, draw and kick. He plays good on-the-ball defense. He's a great competitor. He's a winner.”

Despite being very early in the recruiting process, Battle also had offers from UMass and nearby Sienna. Hurley said Stanford, Virginia, Rhode Island, Marquette and most of the Ivy League schools were showing serious interest.

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