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Trieu: Tyus Battle should be UM's 'missing piece'

By Allen Trieu, Special to The Detroit News
Tyus Battle

Last weekend Michigan hosted five-star wing Tyus Battle. The popular belief was that the Wolverines were in the game, but not in the lead for him going into the visit. His father admitted schools like Duke and Louisville were out front, but on the visit, the Gill (N.J.) St. Bernard's star saw everything he needed to see and committed to the Wolverines on Monday.

His commitment gives John Beilein and the Wolverines their first five-star prospect since Mitch McGary.

"We went (to Michigan) and I could tell Tyus just fell in love with the place," his father, Gary Battle, said to the Michigan Insider's Kyle Bogenschutz. "I told his mother when we went back and kind of decompressed after a long day, I said, 'I think this is the spot for him.' And this is prior to me having any conversation with Tyus. That was after the first night that I kind of knew."

Bogenschutz pointed to player development as a key in Battle's decision, as well. The Wolverines have signed zero McDonald's All-Americans under Beilein, and yet have produced seven pros during that time.

Battle, ranked as the nation's No. 10 prospect on Scout, is a good bet to end that McDonald's game drought and an even better bet to be an impact guy for the Maize and Blue.

"Offensively Battle gives the Wolverines a dynamic weapon," Scout analyst Brian Snow said. "He can score from all three levels on the court, and unlike many of the Michigan wings that have come before him, Battle is a very good ball-handler, which allows him to create for himself with ease.

"That has kind of been a missing piece for Michigan. Trey Burke did most of the creating his sophomore year in leading them to a chance at the title, and then the following season guys like Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton did it as well, and at different times both of those players actually played the point guard role."

Battle's father told Bogenschutz that the plan would be for his 6-foot-6, 195-pound son to play a variety of roles, including being a primary ball-handler.

"The coaches actually went on the court and walked through plays," he said. "LaVall Jordan was Tyus, and then we went to the board room and sat down to talk about the depth chart. I could tell at that point. It was confirmation for me that I knew my son was ready."

Battle joins Austin Davis and Jon Teske in Michigan's 2016 class.

After being on the brink of landing several highly-regarded national recruits only to lose out, Michigan now has a centerpiece to that class.

"It shows that Beilein and his staff can be successful recruiting the way they do for the nation's elite," Snow said. "The roster is looking very impressive for 2016 when Battle arrives on campus."

As a junior last season, Battle appeared in nine games while being hampered by a foot injury and averaged 16.9 points, four rebounds and one assist. As a sophomore, he averaged 22.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists.

Wolverines host four-star OT

On the football side, Michigan hosted Bay Port (Wis.) offensive tackle Cole Van Lanen over the weekend. The 6-foot-5, 275-pound Van Lanen will visit Iowa and Michigan State before making a decision, possibly as soon as this summer. In-state Wisconsin is widely believed to be the leader, although he has not publicly named a favorite. This was Van Lanen's first visit to campus.

New Jersey sophomore offered

Michigan has offered Princeton (N.J.) The Hun School class of 2017 defensive tackle Fred Hansard according to Scout's Brian Dohn. Hansard (6-3, 290 pounds) has additional offers from Miami (Fla.), Iowa, Arizona State, Ohio State, and more. The last time Michigan signed a player from the Hun School was in 2009, another defensive lineman, Anthony LaLota.

More information

Tyus Battle profile

Cole Van Lanen profile

Fred Hansard profile

Allen Trieu began covering the state of Michigan for Scout.com in 2005 and began managing the entire Midwest in 2009. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.