Well, this has certainly been an interesting month for Syracuse University basketball fans. Less than a month ago, as far as anyone knew former priority target Tyus Battle was headed to the University of Michigan. News exploded that he would be de-committing from the Wolverines and was on his way to Syracuse for an official visit around June 19, and now, just like that, Kid Mamba has announced that he’ll join Matthew Moyer in the Syracuse recruiting class of 2016.


Battle initially picked Michigan back in May, choosing the Wolverines over the Orange, Duke, and Louisville, among others. The Orange moved on and began looking at guards like Kobi Simmons, Alterique Gilbert, and Kevin Huerter with Battle seemingly in the rearview mirror. But now, the script has flipped completely. Where once Syracuse fans were deep in panic mode, they’re now rejoicing with Jim Boeheim’s long-time top target in the 2016 class deciding to play for the Orange.

And now, unless Syracuse wins its appeal with the NCAA to restore another scholarship or two, it would appear that the team’s 2016 class is now complete. Despite being a prototypical shooting guard in the model of Kobe Bryant (it’s no coincidence his nickname is Kid Mamba), Battle will be given every opportunity to play point guard for the Orange, giving Boeheim another long, athletic guard at the top of his 2-3 zone.

Battle is an elite scorer, with the quickness and handle to penetrate into the lane and score with either hand, and a solid (if not lights out) shooting stroke out to three point range. A potential backcourt featuring Battle and Malachi Richardson, with Frank Howard and Kaleb Joseph rounding out the guard rotation, is a frightening prospect for opposing coaches, with matchup nightmares in abundance.

The 6-foot-8 Moyer, meanwhile, has been earning a heck of a reputation this spring and into the summer for his expanding game and monster dunks. The long, athletic forward from Ohio has the potential to be a terrific rebounder and midrange scorer, and will no doubt remind longtime Syracuse fans a little bit of a much more athletic version of Ryan Blackwell with the way he plays the game. He’s a versatile forward whose skill set has been rapidly improving over the past year, and forms a strong inside/outside pairing with Battle in this recruiting class.

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Jeff is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University, and has been published on various websites including,,,, and, among others. His work was featured in the New York Times bestselling book You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News. He's got a wife, and a toddler he's brainwashing to love Syracuse. Jeff's a pretty great guy, overall, and would never steal your car. Follow him on Twitter: @jekelish