Tyus Battle Declares for NBA Draft, Won’t Sign Agent

Friday, Apr 20, 2018 at 2:43 pm by Sports Editor

By Matthew Wieselthier

Sports Director

Syracuse guard Tyus Battle will declare for the NBA draft, but without signing an agent, according to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony.

Battle enters the draft after helping the Orange get to the program’s 23rd Sweet Sixteen, its first since SU’s trip to the Final Four back in 2016.

Battle was the main scorer on this year’s team, averaging 19.2 points per game on the season.

In the NCAA Tournament, Battle averaged just 14.5 points per game as teams focused more on defending him.  He did have a breakout performance in Syracuse’s Sweet Sixteen loss to Duke, scoring 19 points, along with dishing five assists and keeping the Orange in the game late against the Blue Devils.

Because he did not sign an agent, Battle will have until May 30 to withdraw his name from the draft and return to Syracuse.  Battle will now also be eligible to participate in the NBA Combine from May 16 to May 20.

If the sophomore were to leave for the draft, that would be the third scholarship player from the 2017-18 roster to leave the program in the past month.  Matthew Moyer declared his intent to transfer on March 26, and just yesterday announced that he would be heading to Vanderbilt to continue his college career.

Braedon Bayer, a former walk on for the Orange also is transferring from Syracuse after earning a scholarship following the departure of Geno Thorpe.

The biggest loss for next year’s team of course is Darius Bazley, who decommitted from Syracuse on March 29, one day after the McDonalds High School All-American Game, to head directly to the NBA G-League.  With Bazley and Battle, the Orange were expected to be a top team in the country next year.

Syracuse still returns much of its talent from last season.  Oshae Brissett announced he would be staying in Syracuse, and the Orange also retain Frank Howard for his senior season.  If Battle were to withdraw his name from the draft, SU would keep its entire starting lineup from last season, including adding East Carolina transfer Elijah Hughes after he had to sit out one year, as well as four-star guard Jalen Carey and three-star forward Buddy Boeheim from what was once a top recruiting class in the country.

As for Battle, NBA mock drafts have him all over the board.  ESPN’s latest mock draft has Battle going 29th overall in the draft.  The last two drafts have seen Syracuse players in the first round with Malachi Richardson (22nd overall) in 2016 and Tyler Lydon (24th overall) in 2017.

@mcwiesel6 | mwieselthier@citrustv.net