Emoni Bates is not an unfamiliar name to those who follow high school basketball recruiting.
Once thought to be the best high school prospect since LeBron James, the buzz dwindled after an early commitment to Michigan State. That continued even as he had a solid junior season.
That buzz picked back up again this past week, as Bates has been showing out in front of national media, college coaches, and pro scouts on the Nike EYBL circuit these past few weeks.
Well, that buzz is about to start getting louder, as Joe Tipton of On3Sports reports that Bates has cut his list to eight this evening. Featuring the school he decommitted from in Michigan State, the Spartans are joined by Oregon, Memphis, Baylor, Miami, the NBA G-League, Overtime Elite, and the NBL.
Kentucky never really seemed to show much interest in this recruitment, primarily due to the fact that it is highly unlikely that Bates ever ends up playing college basketball. In a final eight that features three professional options, you can see why the Kentucky staff (and many others) feel like that might be the path Bates will take.
One of the other details that is worth noting is the college options that are on the list. With NIL off and going, it is not surprising to see teams such as Miami and Oregon make the list who have utilized their resources well since the start of the new era.
Memphis has recruited well under Penny Hardaway, but hasn't reaped any rewards from that. Baylor and Michigan State will also continue to be solid programs every year as well. Kentucky fans better get use to seeing these schools, as the revamped Kentucky coaching staff will be battling to win some of the top recruits in the country.
I think it is all but a done deal that Bates will end up in one of the pro routes, as he would be the face of the any of the pro routes on his list.