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Preseason Player Profiles: RaeQuan Battle

Will the true freshman sharpshooter be able to make an impact in his first season?

NCAA Basketball: Arizona at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

RaeQuan Battle; Freshman; Tulalip, Washington

6’5, 185 lbs. Class of 2019: 4 stars, #80 overall (247 Composite)

Nike EYBL Stats: 11.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 41.4% FG, 35.1% 3pt, 79.2% FT

Italy Stats: 15.3 minutes, 5.3 points, 2.0 rebounds, 0.0 assists, 28% FG, 22.7% 3pt

During Battle’s junior year of high school he was a complete unknown from a national perspective. None of the major recruiting websites had given him a rating. That all changed during a weekend in Indianapolis when Battle earned 3rd team all-EYBL honors for a stretch which saw him average 20.5 points and 5.3 rebounds on 46% shooting from deep. The performance wouldn’t quite be replicated again but Battle quickly moved into the rankings as a consensus top-100 prospect and stayed there.

He shortly after earned a scholarship offer from the Huskies and less than a month later decided to commit to the local school over offers from Houston and Oklahoma. Will the forgotten man in the 2019 recruiting class be able to make an impact this season?

Offensive Game

Everything for Battle starts with his shooting. We didn’t get to see much in the way of results from Battle during the exhibition trip to Italy but we saw that he has a green light from the coaching staff and a short memory. Battle has an ideal shooting stroke and a quick release that can allow him to get his shot off in small windows. The coaches have raved about his ability to knock down 3-pointers and he will likely be the spiritual successor to Dominic Green.

Unlike Green however, Battle also has above average athleticism and the penchant for pulling off the jaw dropping dunk. I wouldn’t say there’s much in the way of an in between repertoire of moves for RaeQuan. But presenting a credible threat beyond the arc and at the rim are the two most important areas of the floor.

I would expect that Battle will end up being a nightmare cover in transition as he’s a legitimate threat to pull off an alley-oop dunk or to break off for the corner and knock down a wide open 3.

The one thing we saw absolutely nothing of during his time in Italy was the ability to put the ball on the floor or pass. Dominic Green had an assist rate in the neighborhood of 5% during his time under Coach Hopkins and I’d be surprised if Battle ever does much better. There’s no way that he shoots it every time it touches his hands like in Italy but other than continuing to move the ball around the perimeter I don’t know that Battle will do much else. If he ever develops any kind of dribble drive game at all it will be considered a bonus.

Defensive Game

It’s not clear how well Battle will fare on this end of the floor. There’s no question that he has solid length in a shooting guard and above average athleticism. The raw tools are there to be at least an average defender. However, Battle didn’t leave much of an impression on me in the way of instincts to accumulate steals. He’s new to the zone defense and it will take time but I don’t know that there’s a lot to draw on to have high expectations for Battle as a defender.

Considering that he will likely play at the top of the zone it at least appears that Battle should be a solid defensive rebounder. His rebound numbers at every level have been above average for a shooting guard and there’s a solid chance of that continuing in college as well.

Expectations for 2019-20

I had a tough time figuring out who was going to fall out of the rotation on a team that legitimately could go 12 deep but unfortunately I see Battle as one of the likely cuts. This team is light on shooting so if he becomes a legitimate 40%+ 3-pt shooter from day one then I’m not sure how Hop is supposed to keep him off the court. But I think Battle will need to grow on defense and in the other parts of his defensive game to warrant significant playing time this season. I don’t think he’s going to redshirt but usage like we saw last year for Elijah Hardy or Jamal Bey is more likely where he will accumulate some DNPs and have other games where he enters for 5 minutes or so maybe as a zone buster. It wouldn’t shock me to be wrong but Battle’s performance in Italy showed plenty of raw talent that needs some seasoning before it’s ready for prime time.

Per Game Projections: 4 minutes, 1.1 points, 0.4 rebounds, 35% FG, 37.5% 3pt, 75% FT