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Emoni Bates' Father, Elgin, Refutes Report He's Leaving Memphis Basketball

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIFebruary 2, 2022

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Memphis forward and 5-star recruit Emoni Bates' father, Elgin Bates, has refuted a report that claims his son's future with the program has "come into question."

"No plans at all," Bates said when asked by Jason Munz of the Commercial Appeal if his son had visions of leaving the team.

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report tweeted Tuesday that Bates would not play in his team's upcoming game against Cincinnati and that his "future with the program has suddenly come into question."

Jake Fischer @JakeLFischer

Sources: Emoni Bates will not play in Memphis' game at Cincinnati on Thursday, as his future with the program has suddenly come into question. Bates has been projected as a 2023 NBA Draft prospect and had previous contact with OTE and overseas opportunities.

In response, Elgin Bates told Munz that his son has been dealing with back pain for the past three weeks and has an appointment with a specialist this week. He also said his son won't play Thursday "unless he's cleared to play."

Bates is third on the team with 10.4 points per game. He was once the class of 2022's No. 1 recruit before reclassifying to the class of 2021.

Bates had five schools and three professional options on his list of top eight post-high school choices before choosing Memphis:

ESPN @espn

Class of 2022's five-star <a href="https://twitter.com/BatesEmoni?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BatesEmoni</a> has narrowed his options down to these eight:<br><br>NBA G League<br>Overtime Elite<br>NBL<br>Oregon<br>Memphis<br>Michigan State<br>Baylor<br>Miami <a href="https://t.co/VlFM1bMlKM">pic.twitter.com/VlFM1bMlKM</a>

Memphis entered the season with high expectations thanks to the additions of Bates and fellow 5-star recruit/big man Jalen Duren,

Unfortunately, it's been a trying campaign for the Tigers, who started 5-0 and reached as high as No. 9 in the Associated Press poll before going 6-8 in their last 14 games.

They are now 11-8 overall (5-4 in the American Athletic Conference), and ESPN's Joe Lunardi currently has the Tigers out of the NCAA tournament picture.

Still, there are nine conference games left on the ledger plus the AAC tournament, so the story of this season has not yet been written for Bates and the Tigers.

For now, Memphis will look to ride the momentum of their two-game winning streak into Cincinnati in hopes of taking down the host Bearcats (15-6, 5-3 AAC) on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.

Bates would be a tough absence for Memphis, who benefitted from his 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists in 21 minutes during the Tigers' 87-80 win over Cincinnati on Jan. 9.

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