March 29 (UPI) -- Tyus Battle is throwing his name into the 2019 NBA Draft following Syracuse's exit from the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
The guard announced his decision Friday in an open letter published in The Post-Standard of Syracuse. Battle, 21, averaged 17.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.2 steals per game this season for the Orange.
The 6-foot-6, 205-pound junior from Edison, N.J. averaged 19.2 points per game during his sophomore campaign.
Battle had 16 points and three assists in the Orange's 78-69 loss to Baylor in the first round of the tournament March 22 in Salt Lake City.
"The past three years here at Syracuse University have been some of the best years of my life," Battle wrote in his letter.
"When I arrived here as a freshman, I didn't know what to expect. I was a shy kid from New Jersey with aspirations of making an impact. The Syracuse community welcomed me with open arms. They helped mold me into the young man I am today, and I thank them for that."
Battle also thanked fans, teachers, teammates, coaches and the Syracuse basketball staff.
"I have made the decision to embark on the next chapter of my life to pursue a professional basketball career. I am confident that I am ready because of you," he wrote.
"Just as you have given your heart to me, I have given it right back each time I put on my Syracuse jersey and stepped out on the basketball court. I accomplished as much I could throughout my time here at Syracuse. I leave holding my head high knowing that I gave this community all I had and left everything on the court each and every night."
Battle is listed at No. 70 on ESPN's list of top NBA prospects.