It may be the beginning of summer and hoops season is still about six months away, but there’s still plenty going on in the college basketball recruiting world, especially with the Orange.
Syracuse got its biggest verbal commitment of the year when Tyus Battle announced that he was spurning the NBA Draft to return for his junior season.
After declaring for the draft and being invited to the NBA Combine, Battle made the informed decision to come back to school to improve his game and work towards his degree. The sophomore kept an anxious Orange fanbase on edge as he waited until May 30 to announce; the last day possible to retain his collegiate eligibility.
Syracuse fans certainly can’t be the only ones to rejoice in Battle’s decision. Jim Boeheim welcomes the return of his best player from last season. Battle will no doubt be one of the best players in the ACC next year, if not the entire country.
His scoring ability, veteran leadership, and knack for clutch shots transforms the Orange into ACC contenders and allows Syracuse fans to dream of deep March run.
Battle is almost certainly expected to leave after his junior season, which will open the door for more playing time from 2019 commit Brycen Goodine.
The combo guard is going to get less combo-y, as he is switching to being a pure point guard in his senior season. Goodine’s move is somewhat of a necessity, with St. Andrew’s suffering from an exodus of talent.
Cole Swider, who Syracuse once recruited, is now at Villanova, and many of the upperclassmen have moved on as well. That means that he’ll be facing more and more double (and sometimes even triple) teams, St. Andrew’s coach Mike Hart says to Syracuse.com’s Donna Ditota.
Moving back one class to 2020, Syracuse is one of the schools seriously recruiting five-star wing Scottie Barnes. The Florida native tells 247 Sports’ Andrew Slater that the programs recruiting him hardest right now include Florida, FSU, Miami, Kentucky, Arizona, Oregon, Syracuse and Maryland.
Barnes visited Syracuse back in September and received an offer during that weekend.