At some point we’ll probably have to stop talking about Tyus Battle’s decision to return to the Syracuse Orange.
Sadly we’re not at that point yet, though. So we’re going to beat this thing into the ground and ask: If someone told you at season’s end that you would get two out of Battle, Oshae Brissett and Darius Bazley on next year’s team, who would you have thought it would have been?
A step further, if you could choose two, who would it be? A few of the TNIAAM staff members gathered for another roundtable.
This is a win-win situation, but I’m going with Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett based off of their past experiences.
Sure, the raw talent of Darius Bazley would have been exciting to witness in the Carrier Dome, but Battle and Brissett have shown in the past that they have what it takes to succeed at the collegiate level, and they are going to improve with another off season to improve. No matter how talented you are, it takes a little time to get used to the pace of play at the collegiate level, and Bazley would’ve needed that time for transition. Battle and Brissett know what it’s like to compete in the ACC and the Big Dance, and that experience goes a long way in a nation where “veterans” come through when it matters most.
I’d take what the Orange are getting next year which is Battle and Brissett. No offense to Bazley who projects as a real talented player, but in my opinion I’ll take the guys who have proven themselves against ACC competition. Bringing back guys who know the Syracuse zone, who have shown the willingness and ability to take clutch shots and who should continue to improve is a great foundation upon which to build a winning team.
I’ll go along with my counterparts and stick with Brissett and Battle just based on their collective experience and success from last season. Bazley would have been an elite talent who would have racked up many a Derrick Coleman comparison, but there’s no substitute for experience and both Brissett and Battle have proven themselves to be among the elite in the ACC.
I think there’s a case to be made that you could take Bazley and Brissett based on more depth at guard and less depth at forward, but Tyus is that good to the point where I’d rather have he and Brissett. Still, wouldn’t that have been something if ‘Cuse got all three? Maybe that’s asking for too much, but we’re talking legitimate national title hopes if that were the case.
If you’d asked me before the NCAA Tournament, I’d have said Brissett and Bazley would be the two players on the Syracuse roster for 2018-19, no question. And while I’m happy to see Battle back, the Orange’s ceiling could’ve actually been raised a bit more had those two been the ones on the roster instead of Tyus this year.
That’s not to discount what Battle brings to the table as a scorer. However, with some guard depth on the roster already, Brissett and Bazley would’ve made for a formidable tandem of scoring forwards that could’ve even given us a better shot at Duke. Bazley could’ve potentially contributed a similar scoring load to what Battle would, and maybe more efficiently since he’d be taking fewer jumpers. All conjecture now, obviously. But still entertaining to think about.
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