Emoni Bates, the top-ranked national recruit out of Ypsi Prep Academy (Mi.), sent a bit of a shockwave through the college basketball recruiting landscape on Friday afternoon by announcing his decommitment from Michigan State.
“I would like to thank Tom Izzo and the coaching staff at Michigan State but I have decided to reopen my recruitment,” Bates wrote on Instagram. “I’m not sure what my future holds but I am keeping all of my options open, both college and pro.”
A five-star forward who’s arguably the best prospect in the country, regardless of class, Bates will undoubtedly become one of the most coveted prospects in the country as he also considers a professional path.
Chris Beard and his staff are now the first to kick off Bates’ re-opened recruitment, as the Texas Longhorns extended his first post-MSU offer, per 247Sports Eric Bossi.
A 6’8, sharpshooting wing, Bates boasts a truly elite offensive game with a skill set and mannerisms reminiscent of Longhorns great, Kevin Durant. He’s proficient from all three levels with athleticism around the rim and range well beyond the 3-point line.
As a sophomore in 2019-20, Bates averaged 33.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.3 steals en route to Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year honors.
While it would require a tremendous amount of effort for Texas to earn Bates’ pledge, the offer speaks to the confidence Beard has in his staff to pursue, quite literally, the best the country has to offer. And it appears Beard’s staff may be off to a good start, as Stadium’s Jeff Goodman reported that the interest is mutual between Bates and the Horns.
Been told by multiple sources there is mutual interest between Emoni Bates and Texas. Makes sense. Bates the closest thing I have seen to @KDTrey5 (at similar stage) in the last 15 years. https://t.co/4Uf1EA9Umc— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) April 30, 2021
Whether Bates ultimately remains among the college ranks or tests the professional path, it will almost certainly be a single-season stop, as he’s widely projected as the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
This story will be updated.