Emoni Bates’ Impact On Memphis

Emoni Bates committed to Memphis on Wednesday over Michigan State, Oregon, and the G-League. Bates, the #3 recruit in the 2021 class, reclassified into this class earlier this month. Before that, he was the #1 prospect in the 2022 class from the start. The 6’9″ small forward from Ypsilanti, Michigan was originally committed to Michigan State but reopened his recruitment back in April. His commitment comes on the heels of visits to both Memphis and Oregon last week.

New Hires

On August 18th, four-time NBA All-Star and 2004 champion Rasheed Wallace was hired to be a part of head coach Penny Hardaway‘s staff at Memphis. That adds to the hire of Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown to the staff earlier this summer. Brown was even the coach of the 2004 Detroit Pistons championship team that Wallace played for. There is no doubt that these hires contributed to Emoni Bates commitment to Memphis.

Emoni Bates’ Immense Talent and Strong Summer & Spring

Emoni Bates, “is considered one of the most gifted offensive players in the game,” says ESPN’S national recruiting director Paul Biancardi. That is high praise for anyone, but especially for a 17-year-old. Bates is, “agile and explosive with positional size and high-level shot-making talent from anywhere,” says Biancardi, “He has an elusive dribble and will be great in transition, isolations, pull-up jumpers, and spot-up 3s, as well as playing out of second-side ball-screen actions.” While he did have an inconsistent junior season of high school, he has made up for that with how dominant he was in the spring and how dominant he has been so far this summer. Oh, and not to mention he won high school player of the year as a freshman. Yes, you read that right, as a freshman.

Loaded Recruiting Class

Emoni Bates vaults Memphis’ recruiting class right up to #1. Most notably he joins Jalen Duren, a five-star center that committed a few weeks ago. The two played together on Team Final in the spring. They join fellow top 100 prospects in Josh Minott and Johnathan Lawson and two other guys that are not too far outside of the top 100. The Tigers are also bringing in three big, high-major transfers in Oregon’s Chandler Lawson, Iowa State’s Tyler Harris, and Miami’s Earl Timberlake. They add to the three returning starters that the Tigers have from last year’s team that won the NIT Championship.

The Tigers were outside of my initial way-too-early top 25 rankings that I released back in April. Along with the other additions that they have made, Emoni Bates potentially moves them up into my preseason top 10. He brings a ton of skill and talent to the table and it will help Memphis immensely. Things have gotten real interesting.

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