With his junior season nearing its end, Riley Battin prepares to battle in post-season play while knowing that his recruitment will soon have to become a priority. The versatile, 6-foot-9 230 pound, power forward has averaged 25 points, 12 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game to bolster his Oak Park High School Squad.
“I try to be the best leader I can and to do anything I can to win,” Battin said.
The Westlake, Calif. native has been groomed throughout his entire youth on how to be a successful basketball player. Both of his parents played collegiate basketball earlier on in their lives and have been able to pass their knowledge to him. His father, Lee, played at Baldwin Wallace, a division III school in Ohio and his mother, Catherine (Erhard) played her days at Cal Poly.
Battin believes that what separates him from others his his versatility and his desire to work hard and improve his craft. “I’m a versatile four man who can really be a matchup nightmare for defenses because of my ability to go inside and out,” he explained.
Because of the coaching he received early in life Battin feels extremely comfortable when he his down low in the paint. “I’m pretty comfortable all around (in the paint). I don’t feel I have a go-to move. I try to take what the defenses give me,” said Battin. “From a young age my AAU coaches have always told me to be able to use both hands. So he would always stress the left hand and the left side. I like to think that I’m almost ambidextrous inside.”
Battin’s ability to stretch the court and shoot from the perimeter is what makes him a nightmare for opposing teams. Battin feels like he can shoot consistently from as far away as the NBA three point line. “I think I’m shooting 57% from three this year, and I’ve shot around 50-60, something like that,” explained Battin with a sense of pride in his accomplishment.
Even with his ability to play from anywhere on the court, Battin still recognizes the constant need to improve. “My biggest weakness is still improving my quickness and athleticism more, even though I have been working a lot on that,” he said. “I have a personal trainer that works with me on jumping and quickness. A lot of work on the tracks, like sprints with resistance and a lot of quick twitch muscle stuff.”
One of his main focuses for his junior season has been to improve himself as a defensive player. After working hard in AAU and his high school team, he is pleased with the progress he has made. “Since AAU last year I’ve really improved my defense. I can now guard twos and threes if I need to,” he said.
Battin has already received multiple scholarship offers. The list includes: American University, Cal Poly, Davidson, Northwestern, Portland, San Francisco, Utah, Utah State and Columbia. In addition to the offers, several schools are showing interest in the power forward. Stanford, Colorado, Butler, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Indiana, Gonzaga, and Oregon State are close to extending an offer. Battin is certain the offers will come at the end of his AAU season.
Battin has been extremely busy recently taking unofficial visits all over the country. He has already been on campus at Notre Dame, Butler and Marquette as well as some Pac-12 schools in Utah, Colorado and Stanford.
Battin visited Salt Lake City back on December 17th for the Prairie View A&M game in which Utah won 92-60. Battin’s lead recruiter is Associate Head Coach, Tommy Connor. The two have formed a great relationship. “I have a good relationship with all of the staff. When I came out there it was great hospitality. I was able to see one of their games against Prairie View A&M, which they took care of pretty easily. It was a great environment,” he said. “I really like the style of play that they use. It was really a great time”
Battin still is nowhere near naming a top five list of schools. He plans on being patient and taking all of his official visits. “I have a little bit of an idea on the schools I want to go to, but I’m going to wait and see until after the AAU season and see who else offers,” he said.
He also hasn’t set a timetable on when he would like to commit but says it won’t take long after he finds the right fit. Until then he pledges to keep “continuing to be an all around better player.”