Emoni Bates, the top high school basketball prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, has decommitted from Michigan State. Bates, who some have compared favorably to LeBron James, has decided to open up his recruitment and explore both professional and college options. This is a massive story in the world of college basketball.
Bates committed to his home-state Spartans in June of 2020. The Ypsi Prep Academy player was long connected to Michigan State and his commitment was seen as a foregone conclusion for weeks before the final announcement. His decision to decommit comes as a shocker.
A 6-foot-8, 200-pound small forward with a feel for the game, Bates is far and away the top prospect in the 2022 class. He's a shot-maker who can put the ball in the hoop in a number of ways. He's got deep range, can handle the ball, lives above the rim and has the length, athleticism and instincts to be an elite defender. Oh, and he's got the vision to find teammates all over the floor. He has been dominating high school basketball for years.
I haven't met anyone who doesn't think he's the best player in the 2022 class. He's that far ahead of everyone and it's rare the entire scouting community agrees one guy is better than the rest.
Bates obviously needs to add strength to his frame, and a year in a college strength program would help with that, but there's also a chance he finds a professional outlet for his talent and bypasses college. He could opt to play in the G-League, or go overseas, then enter the draft.
Whatever happens, someone is going to get one of the top basketball prospects we've seen in the last decade, but it seems it won't be Tom Izzo and Michigan State.