It’s official: Emoni Bates is headed to Memphis.
The 6-foot-9 guard out of Ypsi Prep Academy announced via Instagram on Wednesday that he’ll be suiting up for the Memphis Tigers next season to play for head coach Penny Hardaway.
The SLAM 231 cover star is now the second-highest ranked recruit in the program’s history, following Golden State Warriors’ center James Wiseman. He’s ranked No.3 nationally in the class of 2021 according to ESPN’s Top 100,
Bates, who averaged 24.6 points per game as a junior in 2020-21, had announced earlier this month that he was reclassifying to the class of 2021 and had narrowed his list down to the NBA G League, Memphis, Oregon and Michigan State. He had initially committed to the Spartans last June but opted to de-commit from the program in April.
Having earned comparisons to NBA greats such as Kevin Durant, Bates will now get the opportunity to show what he can do at Memphis.
He told Stadium’s Jeff Goodman and The Field of 68’s Rob Dauster that he’s “ready to lock in”:
“I just felt like coach Penny could prepare me for the next level,” Bates says, via USA Today. “I’m super excited [the recruiting process[ is over. I’m ready. I’m about to lock in even more. I’m about to go turn up my Tiger fans…Going to college, I want to show I can do everything, and [Penny] is going to help me do that.”
Bates will suit up alongside Team Final AAU teammate Jalen Duren, who committed to the program on August 6 and is ranked No. 5 by 247 Sports. “We said we want to play together. So, me and him are gonna rock out together,” Bates says.
The addition of Bates and Duren have elevated Memphis into the projected Top 10 rankings, according to CBS Sports. Memphis won the 2021 NIT Championship.