Brighter days appeared on the horizon for Syracuse basketball after the Orange made another surprising run to the Sweet 16 this March. Incoming 5-star recruit Darius Bazley dampened some of that excitement by deciding to change his commitment and enter the G-League. However, the mood brightened when Tyus Battle withdrew his name from the 2018 NBA Draft on Wednesday.
According to multiple reports, Battle will return to the Orange for the 2018-19 season.
Tyus Battle will return to Syracuse, source told ESPN.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 30, 2018
Battle “tested the draft waters” by entering the draft and working out with NBA teams as late as this week. But not hiring an agent allowed him an avenue to return to school, and he chose that route before the deadline at 11:59 p.m. on May 30.
Battle blossomed as a sophomore in 2017-18, leading the team with a 19.2 points per game average while averaging 39.0 minutes per game. Battle also recorded 2.1 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 39.9 percent.
In the regular-season finale, the junior scored the 1,000th point of his career, becoming the fifth player in program history to accomplish that feat in less than two seasons.
Getting Battle back is a huge boost for Syracuse. Even without Bazley, the Orange could be a preseason top-15 team and are poised to have their best roster since 2013-14. In that season, Syracuse started 25-0.
Battle, along with Orange forward Oshae Brissett, has a strong chance of becoming a first-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.