While we were all waiting on pins and needles to find out whether or not Tyus Battle would return to the Syracuse Orange, last year’s leading scorer was busy taking in all of the knowledge he could while working out for NBA scouts.
As he told Syracuse.com’s Mike Waters, he now has “the answers to the test,” so to speak.
That’s an encouraging sign for the player who will have a large stake in how far SU can go this year. After 2018’s surprise run to the Sweet 16 despite squeaking into the NCAA Tournament, there’s still more this experienced (virtually everyone returns) group can do.
For Battle, that starts with more consistency and efficiency, which can come from a lower usage rate. Last year, he played more minutes on average than any player in the country. He was also the biggest scoring threat and was depended on more than any other Orange contributor in crunch time.
Time with scouts allowed him to receive valuable insights into how to improve, and those can hopefully be imparted onto his game for this coming season. While we focus on the evaluation part of things for NBA Draft hopefuls on their way to the league, that doesn’t necessarily force players to go. For Battle and others that opted to return, it’s a chance to get a rare glimpse of professional feedback and training while you’re still in college.
If Battle improves for 2018-19, it gets harder and harder to keep enthusiasm in check for Syracuse this year (not necessarily a bad thing).
That, plus the rest of our Syracuse-related links below:
“There was definitely a lot of growth,’’ Battle said in an interview on Tuesday. “It was just a great experience to live that lifestyle. I worked out every day. I got in my recovery. I ate good meals. It was a good time to absorb in the professional lifestyle.’’ What amounted to an NBA internship prepared Battle for his junior year at Syracuse.
Hofrichter enters the 2018 season third on the Orange career record list with an average of 42.9 yards per punt. In 2017, he helped the Orange rank 10th nationally in net punting (41.3 avg.) and fourth in punt return yardage defense (2.67 avg.). Both marks led the ACC. Hofrichter punted 57 times for 2,462 yards (43.2 avg.) with just four touchbacks last season. Only nine of his punts were returned and 10 traveled at least 50 yards.
“My thing is this: I think that we’ve been in some close games,” Babers said. “If we’re going to turn into winners, we need to win some. What’s the number on that? I don’t know. If it’s a close game, we need to win it. We were in a close game with Clemson and we won the game. ”... We need to win our share and stop losing so many. You can’t put a number on it. We’re close.”
“There’s definitely a lot of great players to prove myself to. But I think my expectations of my first season is just to go out, in any form, to help the team win a championship and get as far as we can,’’ she recently said. “I don’t really feel pressure. I just feel like maybe if I don’t (produce) then it might look bad on my part. But I think that happens to a lot of players...”
Devendorf: Syracuse Basketball Is Family (CBS Sports Radio)
Speaking with CBS Sports Radio about his experiences, Devendorf says that Boeheim has always welcomed back former players with open arms. “Syracuse basketball is a family,” Devendorf said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Coach keeps everyone close. He’s not the easiest guy to talk to, but he’s a loyal guy. If you played for him, he makes sure you’re going to be okay. That’s what it is — it’s family.”
Kris Joseph’s impact on Syracuse extends past Boeheim’s Army (Daily Orange)
The Rockets are Melo’s best, last hope (FiveThirtyEight)