Syracuse Basketball: Tyus Battle continues to pique NBA interest

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Tyus Battle
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Tyus Battle /

Former Syracuse basketball guard Tyus Battle has done enough to intrigue a few NBA teams. Here are all the details on this interesting development.

It seems like several NBA teams are willing to take a chance on former Syracuse basketball star Tyus Battle. That statement will truly be tested at the NBA Draft on Thursday, June 20th, but teams wouldn’t be working him out if they weren’t piqued by his natural ability.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are just the latest in a long line of NBA workouts for Battle over the last several weeks. Individually Tyus has reportedly been working out in Los Angeles in the Calabasas area during the offseason.

But why are so many teams intrigued by Battle? In a recent interview with Bryan Kalbrosky of Hoops Hype he revealed that NBA teams love his versatility:

"“A lot of teams really liked my versatility. I’m a guy who can play multiple positions in the backcourt and on the wing. This year, they have been more impressed with my ability to run the point. We had times when our point guards were out so I had the opportunity to show that I can move the basketball well.”"

It’s funny how things work out sometimes. From an optics perspective, Tyus Battle was forced to run the point when Frank Howard got injured during the offseason. On the surface, it’s a crappy situation that Tyus was forced to endure a position he had never played before, but ironically according to NBA teams, it is one of his greatest strengths.

"Martin Luther King Jr once said, “that the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”"

Which means returning to school for Tyus forced him to learn one skill at point guard that will help him at the next level. We say it for Syracuse players who are trying to make it in the NFL all the time – the more you can do, the greater chance you have at making the team. Tyus playing both on and off the ball will only help him in those endeavors.

But for Tyus, it’s more than just what he can contribute offensively.

One of the big takeaways from Battle’s conversation with Bryan is how he plans on surprising NBA teams:

"“I can get to the basket, get to the foul line, make shots and get to my pull-up jumper. But I think what I’m going to surprise people with is also my defensive ability. I think a lot of people have a negative connotation for the 2-3 zone defense. I know and I’m extremely confident with my man-to-man defense. Before coming here, that is what I was known for: as a defender. I think I can show that in my workouts and throughout this process. I’m a big guard and I can guard a lot of positions. I have good lateral movement speed and have good defensive instincts.”"

So we all know Tyus can score, he did it quite proficiently on the hill, but what about his defense? A lot of Syracuse players have failed to make the transition from the patented Jim Boeheim 2-3 zone to the man-on-man concepts in the NBA.

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Battle discussed his identity before coming to Syracuse was his defense and he plans on bringing that to the next level. We highly recommend you check out the full interview here in its’ entirety Battle comments on his passions outside of basketball, Jim Boeheim, and where he best fits in the NBA.