Appalachian State Winston-Salem State Basketball

Appalachian State sophomore guard Joseph Battle shoots over Winston-Salem State redshirt sophomore guard Julius Barnes during the 2018-19 season.

The Appalachian State men's basketball team is losing a reserve guard to the transfer market.

Joseph Battle, who just completed his sophomore season, is leaving App State and joining the basketball program at USC Aiken, a Division-II school in South Carolina.

Battle appeared in 25 games last season, averaging 3.3 points. The move was reported on Tuesday by Justin Byerly of HoopSeen.com. App State athletics confirmed the move.

Battle is the first player to transfer following the Mountaineers' recent coaching transition. Appalachian fired Jim Fox in March and replaced him with Dustin Kerns, who spent the last two seasons as the head coach at Presbyterian College. 

Battle, a native of South Carolina, the state's Gatorade Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball in 2016. During his senior season at Abbeville High School, Battle led the Panthers to state titles in football and basketball — he was the quarterback of an option-based offense — before joining the Tulsa men's basketball program.

Battle transferred to App State after his freshman season, sitting out the 2017-18 season to comply with the NCAA transfer rules. 

Battle saw his minutes dwindle in Fox's final season. The guard played less than 10 minutes in his last nine appearances for the Mountaineers. 

Earlier this week, App State picked up a commitment from Kendall Lewis. Lewis is a 6-foot-7 forward from Shiloh High School in Snellville, Ga. He joins Donovan Gregory and J.C. Tharrington as members of the 2019 Mountaineers recruiting class. 

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