On Friday, Emoni Bates, The No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2022, announced that he is decommitting from Michigan State and reopening his recruitment. In his statement, he mentioned that he will keep his options open to both college and professional basketball.
“I would like to thank Tom Izzo and the coaching staff at Michigan State but I have decided to reopen my recruitment,” Bates wrote on his Instagram page. “I’m not sure what my future holds but I am keeping all of my options open, both college and pro.”
The 6-foot-9 versatile guard was the first five-star prospect committed to Michigan State since Jaren Jackson in 2017. The 17-year-old phenom has widely been recognized as one of the best high school basketball prospects in the past decade. According to 247Sports Composite Rating, Bates holds a 1.0000 composite score, the highest-rated number a player can receive. The only other high school athlete to receive the perfect score in the last decade was Andrew Wiggins in 2013. Other notable players who boasted high scores include Anthony Davis(.9999), Ben Simmons(.9998), and Kyrie Irving(.9992).
In high school, Bates has played for two different schools. In his freshman and sophomore year, Bates played for Ypsilanti Lincoln, a public school in Michigan. He led the team to a state championship in 2019. In his 2020 campaign, he averaged 31 points and 10 rebounds per game. At the end of the season, he became the first sophomore and youngest player at age 16 to win the Gatorade High School Boys Basketball National Player of the Year, beating out talented players like Cade Cunningham. The guard then moved for his junior season to Ypsilanti Prep, a startup prep school and basketball program created by his father, E.J. Bates. He’ll likely finish his junior and senior season playing under his dad.
With a 200 pound frame and 7-foot wingspan, Bates has been compared to All-Stars Kevin Durant and Paul George by numerous reporters. He has explosive athleticism and a smooth jump shot.
“Bates is a dangerous contested shot-maker who arguably is the best scorer in high school basketball,” said Brandon Jenkins, 247Sports Recruiting Analyst. “He can score in a variety of ways due to his ability to put the ball in the basket at all three levels. He is dangerous pulling up from deep in transition and has range that extends past the NBA three.”
After Bates’ announcement, fans and analysts speculated that Bates will likely go down the pro route. That’s not a surprise, however, as there was much skepticism Bates would play in college even when he verbally committed to Michigan State back in June 2020.
If he goes to play in the pros, Bates could choose to go overseas, which has become a typical sight for elite prospects in recents years. Another alternate path could be joining the new NBA’s G League Ignite, where top prospects Jalen Green and Jonathan Kuminga have gone to play.
As for college, Bates has re-opened recruitment and several schools have already begun reaching out to the coveted prospect. Per 247Sports Eric Bossi, head coach Chris Beard and Texas Longhorns are the first to send Bates an offer. According to Stadium Basketball Insider Jeff Goodman, the interest is mutual between Bates and the Horns.
Been told by multiple sources there is mutual interest between Emoni Bates and Texas. Makes sense. Bates the closest thing I have seen to @KDTrey5 (at similar stage) in the last 15 years. https://t.co/4Uf1EA9Umc
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) April 30, 2021
A lot is still up in the air whether Bates goes the college or professional route. Whatever he may choose, it will be expected he’ll play there for only one season before he joins the NBA. Bates is projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft as of today.
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