Tyus Battle (Gill St. Bernard’s School/Edison, N.J) and the rest of USA Basketball’s U17 men’s national basketball team landed in Doha, Qatar, in preparation for the FIBA U17 World Championships on Aug. 3. Team USA will hold practices from Aug. 3-6, before traveling to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Aug. 7 for one last training session before the start of the World Championship.
Battle is just one of three newcomers on the U.S.’s roster. The 19th rated prospect in the class of 2016 according to ESPN, participated in U16 training camp last year but was cut. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard’s stock has soared and has received scholarship offers from all the heavy hitters in college basketball. Battle has visited Kentucky, Louisville, Connecticut and Michigan this summer. He plans on visiting Duke, though no date has been set.
Battle is an aggressive player and is a very good shooter. He is also versatile and will be counted on attacking the bucket, among other things. However, Battle said his main role on the team will be as a “Defensive Stopper”.
“I can play three positions on the floor…” Battle said, “I want to make an impact on the floor while I’m out there.”
Battle averaged 22.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.0 steals per game as a sophomore.
The U.S. has won the first two U17 World Championship competition championships (2010 and 2012) and is 16-0 in the competition’s history. 16 countries will compete in this year’s competition.
The USA has been placed in Group A, alongside Angola, Greece and the Philippines. Preliminary round games will begin on Aug. 8, with the USA tipping off against Greece at 1:00pm EDT. ESPN 3 will air the game live.
Don Showalter (Iowa City H.S., Iowa) leads the U17 team, which also includes Devearl Ramsey (Sierra Canyon H.S./Los Angeles, Calif.), Diamond Stone (Dominican H.S./Milwaukee, Wis.), Henry Ellenson (Rice Lake H.S./Rice Lake, Wis.), Caleb Swanigan (Homestead H.S./Fort Wayne, Ind.), Terrance Ferguson (Prime Prep Academy/Flower Mound, Texas), Harry Giles (Wesleyan Christian Academy/ Winston-Salem, N.C.), Josh Jackson (Consortium College Prep/ Southfield, Mich.), V.J.King (St. Vincent-St. Marys/ Akron, Ohio), Malik Newman (Calloway/ Jackson, Miss.), Ivan Rabb (Bishop O’Dowd,/ Oakland, Calif.) and Jayson Tatum ( Chaminade College Prep/ St. Louis, Mo.).
Henry Ellenson is a 6-foot- 9 power forward/center. He has elite shooting ability for a “Big” and possesses very good athletic ability and strength. Ellenson , the number five rated prospect in the class of 2015, thrives in pick and pop situations. Ellenson is expected to pare down his college list after the World Championships. Marquette and Wisconsin are considered the leaders for his services with Duke and Minnesota with an outside chance. This will be Ellenson’s first experience with TeamUSA as he was cut from the U16 team last year. Ellenson averaged 27.2 points as a junor.
Terrance Ferguson is a 6-foot-6 shooting guard is extremely long and lean with tremendous athletic ability. He is an excellent shooter with deep range and an explosive finisher on the break.
Ferguson is rated as the 10th best prospect in the class of 2016 according to ESPN. He is being pursued heavily by Oklahoma State, Baylor , Florida, SMU and Louisville. Ferguson played for the U16 team last year.
Harry Giles is a 6-foot-9 power forward who missed all of last high school season after tearing his ACL, MCL and meniscus in his left knee. He is an athletic “Big” who averaged 12.6 points and 7.0 rebounds in five Peach Jam games in mid-July. Giles is not 100 percent healthy yet, but is still a top-notch 2016 prospect due to his upside.
Giles has been recruited by the highest of high-major programs for a few years and currently rated as the fifth best prospect in the class by ESPN. Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and North Carolina are currently among the biggest pursuers.
Josh Jackson is a 6-foot-6 small forward who is a fearless competitor. He has a very High basketball IQ and an athletic finisher in transition. Jackson, the No. 2 rated prospect in the Class of 2016, has recently transferred to Justin-Siena in California according to mlive.com.
Jackson reportedly has offers from Kansas, Florida State, Ohio State and Memphis, among others. He averaged 28 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists last season.
V.J. King is a 6-foot-7 small forward who is a long and athletic as well as very skilled. He excels on the break by running the floor and has the ability to score on all three levels.
King is rated as the 18th bet prospect in the class of 2016. He is drawing interest from UConn, Iowa St. , Illinois, Miami, Clemson, Ohio State, West Virginia, Michigan State and Wisconsin.
Malik Newman is a 6-foot-3 combo guard who is an excellent scorer but has the ability to play the point. He has the ability and willingness to take and make tough shots.
Newman is ranked third in the class of 2015 and is being pursued by several top programs including North Carolina, Duke, Kanas and Louisville as well as Mississippi State.
Ivan Rabb is a 6-foot-11 power forward/center who is one of the most athletic players in the class of 2015. He is a great shot-blocker and excellent rebounder. Rabb, ranked the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2015, can score with either hand in the post.
Rabb is very high on Arizona’s list but is also drawing interest from Duke, California, Kansas, Duke and Georgetown.
Devearl Ramsey is a 5-foot-11 point guard who excels at creating havoc. He is a lock-down defender and very explosive in transition.
Ramsey is rated as the No. 33 prospect in the class of 2016 by ESPN. He has offers from USC and Washington.
Diamond Stone is a 6-foot-10 center who is very skilled. He can score with his back to the basket with jump hooks with either hand, power drop step and turn shots. He also can face and drive as well as knock down a three-pointer.
Stone is rated as the fourth best prospect in the class of 2015 by ESPN . He is being heavily pursued by Duke, Kansas, Michigan State and Wisconsin.
Caleb Swanigan is a 6-foot-8 power forward who is strong and physical. He plays with a lot of energy and runs the floor well.
Swanigan is rated as the No. 33 prospect in the class of 2014. He is receiving trong interest from Michigan State, Kansas and Kentucky.
Jayson Tatum is a 6-foot-7 shooting guard/small forward. He is silky smooth and very versatile. Tatum is a good finisher and possesses a great floater.
Tatum is rated as the No. 3 prospect in the class of 2016 and is drawing serious interest from Duke, Missouri, Kansas, Florida and Kentucky.