Tyus Battle wasted little time revealing his college decision after visiting Michigan over the weekend. The five-star shooting guard announced on Monday that he has committed to Michigan. Battle chose the Wolverines over a list of schools that also included Duke, Louisville and Syracuse, among others.
“Excited to say that I am going to be a Wolverine!” Battle wrote on Twitter.
Not only is Battle one of the top recruits in the class of 2016—No. 14 in the Rivals 150—he’s set to become one of the most heralded prospects Michigan has landed since 1991, when the Wolverines added the famed “Fab Five” of Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson.
Using Rivals.com’s rankings, Michigan has not reeled in a recruit as highly touted as Battle since 2012, when Lake Central (Ind.) High standout Glen Robinson III, ranked No. 11 in the Rivals 150, pledged to the Wolverines. That class also included four-star center Mitch McGary, who ranked 30th.
As a junior at Gill St. Bernard's (N.J.) School last season, Battle averaged 16.9 points, four rebounds and one assist per game despite being hampered by a foot injury that limited him to only nine games. He posted per-game averages of 22.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and two steals the previous year.
At 6'6" and 180 pounds, Battle has gained acclaim for his athleticism, ability to knock down jump shots and basketball IQ.
Battle visited Duke and Louisville in April and had been scheduled to visit Syracuse later this month after hosting Orange coach Jim Boeheim for an in-home visit a few weeks ago. The weekend visit was Battle’s second trip to Ann Arbor, having also went there for an unofficial visit last June.
“He's a really serious kid and a great kid academically and he wanted a college that would give him that balance,” Tyus’s father Gary told Rivals.com. “At the end of the day Michigan had done such a great job recruiting him and covering the academics. Also, they do such a great job with their wings—zero McDonald's All-Americans and seven pros. He felt really comfortable with the staff.”
Michigan’s two other verbal commitments from the class of 2016 are center Jon Teske and forward Austin Davis. Neither is as highly regarded as Battle, who will be expected to make an instant impact as a freshman. If he sticks to his pledge, Battle would join the Wolverines after they lose projected draft pick Caris LeVert, a senior next season.
Battle could excel as a perimeter playmaker under a coach, John Beilein, who guided the Wolverines to the top of the adjusted offensive efficiency charts in 2012-13 and 2013-14. When Battle arrives, Michigan’s rotation should also include point guard Derrick Walton, wings Zak Irvin and Aubrey Dawkins and forward Kameron Chatman.
Even though Wolverines fans will need to wait a season before Battle arrives, his commitment softens the blow of a recent recruiting miss. Less than two weeks ago, wing Jaylen Brown, the No. 3 player in the class of 2015, picked Cal over Michigan and other schools.
The Wolverines’ 2015 recruiting class features only one player: four-star power forward Moritz Wagner.