National basketball recruiting expert: Emoni Bates best freshman since LeBron James

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National basketball recruiting expert: Emoni Bates best freshman since LeBron James

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National basketball recruiting expert: Emoni Bates best freshman since LeBron James

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The Emoni Bates hype train continues to gear up.

Bates, a 6-foot-8, 200-pound rising sophomore prospect at Ypsilanti (Mich.) Lincoln High School has completely exploded on the national scene. Now 247Sports director of basketball recruiting Evan Daniels is offering up the most glowing assessment of Bates’ game yet:

“(Bates is) the best freshman I’ve ever seen,” Daniels told CBS Sports for a feature on the Class of 2022 guard. … “Obviously he has some impressive physical tools at his size; he’s a good athlete. But the thing that really stands out is his skill set. He has advanced scoring moves and just ridiculous footwork for a kid his age. I think it’s that combination of things that makes him certainly the best freshman talent that I’ve scouted at that stage.”

That would put Bates squarely as the best overall prospect at his age since you know who. While it’s brutally unfair to put any connection with LeBron James on any player, it’s clear that Daniels, among others, thinks that the Michigan native can live up to it.

The latest focus has been on Bates’ shockingly lackluster recruiting, which apparently stems from a near universal belief that he’ll be among the first to again go directly from high school basketball to the NBA.

Yet Bates’ family told CBS Sports of a potential reclassification to the Class of 2021, which would see him play the equivalent of his senior year in high school at the Division I level instead.

Here’s what Bates had to say about the subject to 247Sports:

“Me and my parents threw that out a little bit,” Emoni said. “Maybe. I talk about it, we think about it sometimes. Maybe if [by then] I’m too mature for high school and I feel like am ready to go to college, I might for a year and then go to the league. Or just get better and stay in the gym for a summer and just work out and get better every day. But it’s been mentioned a lot in my house, re-classing up after my junior year and playing a freshman year in college.”

Regardless of what Bates does next, he’s already getting plenty of attention, for all the right reasons.

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