By Mychal Hunter
Number six on the list is a guy that I was really high on coming into the season last year and while he put up some impressive numbers, his player efficiency rating was 43rd in the league. I am not deterred. He is awesome.
At number six on the ACCBR top returning players countdown, Syracuse shooting guard Tyus Battle.
What a player. I would not say that Battle is a great shooter, but he is a great college scorer. The best in the ACC this year. A true three level guy, he scored 25 or more in 8 games last season. In his first season as the number one (and number two) option, he averaged 19.2 points per game. He is the highest scoring returning player in the ACC at 712 points last season. He is also a god damn iron man, playing 96.2% of possible minutes in Syracuse games last season.
Many of the difficulties that Battle struggled with last season were not really his fault. He was part of a Syracuse offense that was incredibly inefficient and one dimensional. The Orange should run a little bit more smoothly this year when Jalen Carey inevitably takes over point guard duties from Frank Howard. The addition of Carey should gives the Orange another option on offense and should open things up for Battle.
If Tyus is able to pick his spots he should see his efficiency rise along with Syracuse’s success. He could play a little bit of three this year with Brissett at the four and Chukwu in his usual spot. I believe this will be the most effective lineup for the Orange on offense in 2018-19.
Look for him to make a run at both player of the year in the ACC as well as All-Conference First Team.