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Emoni Bates commits to Memphis

Emoni Bates, a 6-foot-9 small forward and the No. 3 recruit in the class of 2021 according to ESPN, announced his commitment to Memphis on Wednesday.

Bates originally committed to Michigan State last summer after finishing his sophomore season. In April, however, the 17-year-old de-committed from MSU and reopened his recruiting. Then earlier this month, he announced he was reclassifying to the class of 2021, which will allow him to forgo his senior year at Ypsi Prep Academy and be ready to play college basketball this season. In this announcement, Bates stated his list of options was down to four: Michigan State, Oregon, Memphis and the G League.

With Bates joining the Tigers, former NBA player and head coach Penny Hardaway is “thrilled” to have the versatile forward. 

“He is one of the fiercest competitors I have ever recruited, and he instantly makes everyone around him better. His will to win makes us a better team,” Hardaway said in a press release. 

Emoni started his high school career at Lincoln HS in Ypsilanti, Michigan and helped the team to its first state championship as a freshman, and he was named the MaxPreps Freshman of the Year. In his next season, Bates became the first high school sophomore to win the boy’s basketball Gatorade National Player of the Year Award. He averaged 32.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 steals per game. He continued his dominance in high school as a junior, averaging 24.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

247 Recruiting analyst Brandon Jenkins compares Bates’ game to all-star veteran Paul George. Bates is a “dangerous contested shot-maker” and “has multi-year all-star type potential in the association.”

“He can score in a variety of ways due to his ability to put the ball in the basket at all three levels. Bates has a quick trigger and shoots over defenders with ease. He is unfazed when attempting jumpers with a high degree of difficulty due to his length, quick release, and touch.”

Emoni Bates will be joining Memphis alongside a promising freshman class. The program adds five-star center Jalen Duren and high-level recruits in Johnathan Lawson and Josh Minott

The team is coming off of a 2021 NIT championship and a 20-8 season. With an impressive roster in 2021-22, the Tigers will be looking beyond the NIT and at a NCAA championship run.


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