Syracuse Basketball: Tyus Battle’s brother, in portal, prolific-scoring guard

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /

Khalif Battle, the younger brother of former Syracuse basketball star Tyus Battle, is in the NCAA’s transfer portal, according to media reports and recruiting services.

Khalif Battle, a 6-foot-5 guard, is a redshirt sophomore at Temple out of the American Athletic Conference. About two weeks ago, it was announced that the Owls’ head coach, Aaron McKie, would not return to that position at Temple for the 2023-24 campaign.

In the recently completed 2022-23 term, the Owls posted a 16-16 overall record. Battle, a former Orange recruiting target in high school, put forth a terrific 2022-23.

Per ESPN, he averaged 32.2 minutes, 17.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals a game, while connecting on 41.0 percent from the field, 35.0 percent from 3-point land, and 89.8 percent from the charity stripe. Battle appeared in 27 contests for Temple.

Syracuse basketball offered a scholarship to Khalif Battle in July of 2017.

With McKie out as the Temple head coach, several players on the Owls’ 2022-23 roster have entered the transfer portal, including Battle and sophomore forward Zach Hicks. We noted a few days ago that the Orange coaching staff has reached out to the 6-foot-7 Hicks, as first reported by SyracuseOnSI publisher Mike McAllister.

Battle was a four-star prospect in the 2019 class. He attended the Trenton Catholic Academy in Hamilton, N.J. Several recruiting services ranked Battle as a top-100 national prospect in the 2019 cycle.

The industry-generated 247Sports Composite had him at No. 99 overall, No. 16 at shooting guard and No. 4 in New Jersey within his recruiting class.

Amid his recruiting process in high school, Battle committed to Butler over offers from other college squads such as the ‘Cuse, UConn, Miami, Rutgers, Saint Joseph’s, VCU and Washington.

He played for one season, in 2019-20, for Butler before transferring to Temple.

I’ll certainly be curious to see whether Syracuse basketball coaches reach out to Battle. He is one of the best players across the country who is in the transfer portal.

A few days ago, 247Sports national analyst Travis Branham published his initial top-25 rankings of the top collegiate players in the portal, and Branham placed Battle at No. 5 nationwide.

When Branham wrote this article, he noted that Battle has heard from teams including “Kansas, Arkansas, Louisville, LSU, USC, Memphis, Rhode Island, Arizona State, UCF, Florida State, Oregon, Arizona and Villanova.”

"Branham added: “Khalif Battle is arguably the best bucket-getter in the transfer portal right now. He averaged 17.9 points a game and inflicts his damage at all three levels but particularly the three-point line where he drilled 35-percent of his 8.1 attempts a game this season.”"

As far as the Syracuse basketball backcourt ahead of the 2023-24 stanza, freshman Judah Mintz has declared for the 2023 NBA Draft while maintaining his college eligibility. Senior Joe Girard III is testing the 2023 NBA Draft waters, entering the transfer portal and maintaining his collegiate eligibility.

Senior Symir Torrence is in the transfer portal. We’ll have to see what transpires with freshman guard/wing Quadir Copeland as well as freshman shooting guard/small forward Justin Taylor. My sense is they will both be back, but I don’t have inside information there.

Additionally, the Orange notched a huge recruiting win when Central New York native and freshman guard J.J. Starling said he would transfer from Notre Dame to Syracuse basketball. Branham put Starling at No. 2 around the country in his initial top-25 transfer ratings.

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