Michigan coach John Beilein didn't get 2015 five-star recruit Jaylen Brown a couple weeks ago. But Beilein may have gotten just as big a catch Monday, adding five-star guard Tyus Battle, who committed to the Wolverines for the class of 2016.
Battle, a 6-foot-6 wing from Gladstone, N.J., is rated as the No. 10 overall prospect by Scout.com, and was one of UM's top targets in the '16 class.
For Beilein, it's a big win because Battle is the highest-profile recruit since Mitch McGary in 2013. With McGary, UM went to the national title game, before falling to Louisville.
The timing is good for Michigan, as Caris LeVert — who announced he will be returning for his senior season — will leave Beilein in need of a scorer; Battle can pick up some of that slack.
"It's a huge get because it gives them a top-flight wing prospect that is an excellent shooter and is a kid who's worked on his ability to create for others," said Sam Webb, recruiting analyst for Scout.com. "As much as it means literally on the court, it might mean as much symbolically, because the sentiment was growing out there that Michigan couldn't compete for these types of kids.
"This nips that in the bud, not only for fans, but for other recruits."
Beilein missed on Brown, one of the top players in the '15 class, who decided to go to California. Michigan only has German forward Moritz Wagner in its '15 recruiting class for a scholarship and added Hudsonville's Brent Hibbitts, a 6-foot-8 forward, Monday as a preferred walk-on.
But getting Battle puts Michigan back on the recruiting map, not just for this year, but for years ahead, with a big name like Battle on board. Cassius Winston, a '16 guard from U-D Jesuit, played with Battle at a Michigan camp last summer; having that familiarity could help garner some other top talent.
"You could see a guy like Tyus Battle having some influence, even without talking to other guys," Webb said. "This is a kid that Cassius Winston saw, so he has an idea about the caliber of prospect he is."
Battle visited Duke and Louisville last month and had offers from other elite programs, including Connecticut, Notre Dame and Ohio State. Battle joins big men Jon Teske and Austin Davis in Michigan's '16 class, which looks to be filled, unless another roster spot opens.
"Getting another '16 was big because you're going to be losing that offensive playmaker (in LeVert)," Webb said. "This kid is a big-time talent. Could he be a bridge-type of recruit to the next stage of Michigan basketball? Absolutely.
"Who knows? This might be Zak Irvin's last year. Who's going to be that big-name player moving forward? Tyus Battle could be that guy."
In picking Michigan, Battle told Evan Daniels of Scout.com he favored the mixture of academics and athletics.
"I really love the basketball situation and Coach Beilein and the rest of the staff. You can see how they develop their players like Caris LeVert, Nik Stauskas and Tim Hardaway," Battle told Daniels. "That's a big deal to me."