Syracuse basketball was able to land one of their prized recruiting targets in the 2016 class in five-star Tyus Battle. Battle originally committed to Michigan, but ended up taking an official visit to Syracuse after opening things back up. That visit sealed the deal for the Orange.
The start of the early signing period got underway on Wednesday, November 11th. A few days later, Battle made his verbal pledge official by signing his national letter of intent (photos at the bottom of the page). On Wednesday the 18th, Battle held a signing ceremony with friends and family.
"It was amazing," Battle told Scout moments after the conclusion of the ceremony. "A lot of emotions. Just to make it finally official. It was a lot of emotions. It was great. I was really happy. A lot of my friends and family came out today. It was great to see them all tonight."
The ceremony was a celebration of Tyus' achievements in high school, which led to the opportunity to play college basketball at the highest level. Having all of that support around him at that moment meant a lot to the 6-foot-6 guard.
"It was a surreal feeling," Battle said. "My grandparents surprised me from Georgia. I saw friends I haven't seen in a long time. Just people that helped me down this path of basketball and helped me get to this point. It was an amazing feeling."
Before signing the letter, Battle called his future head coach, Jim Boeheim.
"I actually called coach Boeheim today," he said. "It was right before I signed the letter. We didn't talk too long, but he was just saying that he's happy to have me and happy to make it official. I told him I can't wait to come up there and hopefully win a national championship next year."
Another person excited about Battle becoming officially Orange is fellow 'Cuse signee Matthew Moyer, who also signed during the early period. The two members of Syracuse's 2016 class speak on a regular basis and are excited about teaming up in Central New York.
"I talk to Matt a lot," Battle said. "That's a great guy. I know he was really happy to sign and make it official. I can't wait to be out there with him. To go the gym, go to class and everything. It's going to be great."
Now Battle is focused on his career at Syracuse with his letter signed. Right now, however, the program is focused on the 2015-16 season. They are off to a 2-0 start, and Tyus has liked what he has seen thus far.
"I think they've been playing well," he said. "Last night was a pretty tough game. They had to come back, but that's always a pretty good test to see what they have. What kind of heart and how hard they play. They came back and I think they won by 13. I think they're going to be pretty good this year and give some teams some problems."
Two Orange freshmen, Malachi Richardson and Tyler Lydon, have been playing well early on. Given their remaining eligibility and loaded potential, Battle cannot wait until he is able to play on the same court as those two and fellow freshmen Franklin Howard.
"It gets me real excited," Battle said. "We're going to be a great team. I think we're going to cause a lot problems for a lot of teams. We're going to be big in the 2-3 zone. We have a lot of shooters that can space the floor out. I think we can make things happen next year."
Below are pictures of Battle signing his national letter of intent to play basketball at Syracuse. Photos courtesy of Gary Battle.