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A few months ago, elite 2016 basketball prospect Tyus Battle released a top 11 list for his services, and has just trimmed that list down to seven schools. Good news for Syracuse University basketball fans: the Orange have made the initial cut.

This probably shouldn’t come as a surprise considering a couple of things. First, Battle has been the staff’s top priority for the 2016 class for a very long time. The 6-foot-6 guard can play the point, the two, or even the three in a pinch. Right now, his top seven, in no particular order, include: Syracuse, Louisville, UConn, Michigan, Notre Dame, Duke, and Ohio State.

Battle, a.k.a. “Kid Mamba,” has been rated as a consensus top-20 player in America, including being rated as the No. 15 prospect by ESPN.com. When the self-imposed postseason ban came down, there was some worry that potential future punishments imposed by the NCAA could scare off the talented guard, but one of Jim Boeheim’s first phone calls after the Syracuse imposed sanctions was to Battle and his father, Gary, to assure them that the ban would not impact Kid Mamba or future recruiting classes.

This is a major recruiting, ahem, battle for Syracuse. At this point, almost all of the staff’s eggs are in the Kid Mamba basket, so making the cut from 11 down to seven is a great step toward landing the coveted young player. The rest of Battle’s recruitment process could play out pretty quickly, as Gary Battle told Scout.com that they plan on making a decision sooner, rather than later.

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Jeff is a 2003 graduate of Syracuse University, and has been published on various websites including Cracked.com, Spike.com, TheSportster.com, Gunaxin.com, and TopTenz.net, 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