The departure of Texas Longhorns head coach Shaka Smart to become the next head coach for the Marquette Golden Eagles has now officially impacted the 2021 Longhorns recruiting class with Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy shooting guard Tamar Bates announcing on Monday that he’s requested his release from his National Letter of Intent.
After a lot of careful consideration and conversation with my family I have decided to request a release from my letter of intent with the University of Texas Men’s Basketball team.— Tamar Bates (@tbates_11) March 29, 2021
The 6’4, 175-pounder who hails from Kansas City signed with Texas last November after committing to Smart and his staff in August over a group of finalists that also included Alabama, Creighton, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, and Oregon.
Smart was a big reason why Bates committed to the Longhorns.
Rather stunning honesty from Tamar Bates on his Texas basketball commitment. He tells Rivals, "I wanted to play for a Black head coach with everything that is going on."— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) August 28, 2020
A consensus four-star prospect, Bates is currently ranked as the No. 56 player nationally and the No. 14 shooting guard, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. The remaining three members of the Texas recruiting class are Iowa combo guard Emarion Ellis, Wisconsin power forward David Joplin, and North Carolina power forward Keeyan Itejere.
The decision by Bates will put some extra pressure on Smart’s replacement, as sophomore forward Kai Jones has already turned pro, freshman forward Greg Brown III is expected to join him, senior guard Matt Coleman and senior forward Jericho Sims are not expected to take advantage of the eligibility freeze, and sophomore guard Donovan Williams and senior forward Royce Hamm Jr. are both in the NCAA transfer portal. As a result, Texas is expected to have six scholarships still available for next season.