Emoni Bates will join Jalen Duren in Memphis for the upcoming 2021-22 basketball season, as Bates has committed to the Memphis Tigers and Penny Hardaway. His finalists included Michigan State, Oregon and the NBA G-League.
Originally a Class of 2022 recruit out of Ypsi Prep Academy in Michigan, Bates has since moved into the 2021 class and is now ranked third overall by ESPN, fourth by Rivals, and fifth at 247 Sports. He held additional offers from Kentucky, Texas, Florida State and Texas among others, per 247.
Bates, who reclassified to 2021 just a few weeks ago, is in an interesting position. Due to his reclassification, he will be too young to enter the 2022 NBA Draft after this season, so does Bates stay two seasons at Memphis?
Either way, Penny Hardaway has assembled yet another talented team in Memphis, landing another overall No. 1 recruit. Hardaway landed James Wiseman in 2019, but Wiseman was quickly ruled ineligible after a few games, leading to his decision to leave the team after it was found that Hardaway had paid for moving expenses for Wiseman and his family.
The Tigers will almost certainly be a preseason top-10 team coming into the season, with a load of pressure on Hardaway, who has yet to make an NCAA Tournament in his tenure with the Tigers.