Emoni Bates, the No. 5 player in the class of 2021 after reclassifying from 2022, has committed to play for Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Tigers this upcoming college basketball season.
Reports surfaced Tuesday that Bates was closing in on a commitment after it was discovered he already had a Memphis student email address. Bates’ father announced on Instagram on Wednesday that his son would announce his commitment on Friday, but the Michigan native decided to pull the trigger on his commitment a bit earlier than originally expected.
Bates picked Memphis over Oregon, Michigan State, where he was once committed and a professional opportunity with the NBA G League.
Long considered the best recruit in the class of 2022, Bates will join fellow blue-chipper Jalen Duren at Memphis, giving Hardaway a team that has the potential to make a deep NCAA Tournament run. Listed at 6-foot-8 and 200 pounds, Bates has garnered comparisons to Kevin Durant throughout his high school career given his frame and natural scoring ability.
“Bates is a dangerous contested shot-maker who arguably is the best scorer in high school basketball,” 247Sports’ Brandon Jenkins said in his scouting report of Bates. “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. 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.”