Five-star recruit Emoni Bates is the No. 2 overall and No. 1 small forward prospect in the 2022 class, per 247Sports. But now, he isn’t a member of that class at all.
According to reports from college basketball insider Jeff Goodman, Bates will reclassify and make a decision on his basketball future sometime before this coming season.
The highly-touted recruit will either head straight to the G-League or try the collegiate route. If he choses to go to college, Bates will select between Oregon, Memphis and Michigan State.
Bates will not turn 19 until Jan. 28, 2023 – which means he is not eligible for next year’s NBA Draft.
Bates told me he will take this year by year and re-evaluate after this season wherever he goes, but there is a chance that if he goes to college, he’ll be there for 2 years. https://t.co/83aa2Olo8W
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) August 4, 2021
At just 17 years old, the rising superstar is still two years away from being eligible for the NBA draft — meaning he would still have to play at least two seasons at the G-League or college level before making the jump to the NBA.
The NCAA’s new name, image and likeness (NIL) rules could have something to do with this decision to leave high school early.
No. 1 overall player in the 2022 class, Jalen Duren, is also reportedly expected to reclassify. Like Bates, Duren also has Memphis in his final list of college options.
The basketball world took to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon to react to Bates’ reclassification news.
Talked about this possibility on Mondays @AaronTorresPod. I am absolutely fascinated here, as right now, Emoni Bates is not eligible for the 2022 NBA Draft. Meaning, even if he reclassifies, he would play two years of college hoops or two years pro before being NBA Draft eligible https://t.co/TokR3wL1cY
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) August 4, 2021
We need Emoni in college basketball make it happen https://t.co/6V53t2cRaV
— Nathan Floyd (@nathanrfloyd) August 4, 2021
A kid from the 2022 recruiting class who some might call a 'prodigy' is skipping his senior year of high school so he can (wisely) cash in…
Where have I heard that story before? https://t.co/eFFQsSC6UA
— Stephen Means (@Stephen_Means) August 4, 2021
What makes this decision so interesting is that Bates is ineligible for the 2022 draft (he’s four weeks too young). So he’s got a two-year decision on his hands.
He would make a ton of money at Oregon (Nike) or Memphis (FedEx?), but I think he’d get a lot out of the G League. https://t.co/QSruh5FM7r
— Rob Dauster (@RobDauster) August 4, 2021
Michigan State is gonna be a problem in the Big Ten if Bates ends up going back to the Spartans. They already have the No. 10 class in the 2021 cycle. https://t.co/aEzYRa0r8I
— Daniel Oyefusi (@DanielOyefusi) August 4, 2021
Jalen Duren and Emoni Bates Memphis Basketball?? 👀👀 The city gone be jumping!!
— The Accountant (@Jdonaldson901) July 31, 2021
Wow. Emoni Bates considering Oregon as a finalist is huge. If the Ducks could land commitments from both Bates and Dior Johnson, another top recruit and high-profile prospect, that would go an incredibly long way for the rep of the @OregonMBB program. #GoDucks 🦆 💚💛 https://t.co/uD8NPh4IQz
— Bryan Kalbrosky (@BryanKalbrosky) August 4, 2021
Bates verbally committed to Michigan State on June 29, 2020 before eventually decommitting in April of this year.
The 6-foot-8, 200 lbs forward was named the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year after averaging 33.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.3 steals per game for Lincoln High School in 2019-20. He later transferred to Ypsi Prep Academy we he furthered his high school basketball stardom.