Former Syracuse standout Tyus Battle will join the latest group of six prospects looking to boost their draft stock in a workout for the Utah Jazz.
Tyus Battle’s last trip to Salt Lake City didn’t go exactly as planned. In an 8/9 match-up in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, his Syracuse Orange fell to Baylor — the alma mater of Dennis Lindsey, Royce O’Neale and Ekpe Udoh — at Vivint Arena in what would ultimately be his last collegiate game.
Just a few months later, he’s back in the 801 for a pre-draft workout for the Utah Jazz on Wednesday. Undoubtedly, the 6-foot-6, 210-pound shooting guard is hoping for a better result this time around.
Early draft workouts are largely playgrounds for fringe prospects and underclassmen looking to test the draft waters. Battle, however, has a legitimate shot at hearing his name called in the second round, where the Jazz band will be on the clock at No. 53.
Given his size, length (6-foot-9 wingspan) and penchant for coming up big in the clutch for ‘Cuse, that should come as no surprise.
When Battle sunk rival Georgetown with this triple in December, Boeheim spoke glowingly about his two-guard. “He‘s made a lot of big shots,” he said after the game. “Probably as much or more than anybody we’ve ever had here in late-game situations. He’s right there.”
Over a three year career under head coach Jim Boeheim, Battle averaged 16 points, three boards and 1.3 steals per contest. His willingness to take the big shot may be his best attribute, next to his big NBA body. He also excelled as a mid-range jumpshooter as a collegiate, but it’s hard to say how well that will serve him at the next level.
Unless you’re Chris Paul, that’s generally not a shot people want you to take in the modern Association.
He’ll need to work on his rim finishing, which was middling at best, but the bigger question facing his transition to the next level may be the 3-point shot. Battle shot just 33.5 percent from distance for the Orange and actually got worse every year after knocking down 37 percent of his triples as a freshman.
Nevertheless, Battle has the mindset of a big-time scorer, a flair for dramatic offense and is a willing defender as well, so he should get some consideration from NBA teams this June.
Joining Battle in this workout session will be NCAA tourney hero Matt Mooney of Texas Tech, Miami big man Dewan Hernandez, Notre Dame point man Temple Gibbs, forward Mamadi Diakite from Virginia and Arizona wing Brandon Randolph.
Battle, Hernandez and Diakite will all take part in the G-League Elite Camp, running from May 12-14. A strong showing there could see them snag one or more of them a spot in the NBA Draft Combine, which begins on the 14th.
The 2019 NBA Draft is on Thursday, June 20.