Report: Emoni Bates Expected to Skip Michigan State, Join G League After HS

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2021

Emoni Bates plays against Howell High School during a fall league basketball game in Saline, Mich., Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

5-star prospect Emoni Bates, the top-ranked player in the 2022 college basketball recruiting class, remains committed to Michigan State but reportedly "no one" believes he'll take the court with the Spartans.

Brendan Quinn of The Athletic reported Wednesday the expectation from all sources inside and outside of the forward's camp is that he'll await the "most lucrative deal the G League can muster" and then announce he'll go the pro route rather than heading to MSU for a year before he can enter the NBA draft.

Bates, the early favorite to go first overall in the 2023 draft, wasn't recruited by many of college basketball's top programs because they expected him to make an immediate jump to the professional ranks, but Tom Izzo and Michigan State had been in pursuit since sixth grade, per Quinn.

He committed to the Spartans in June on the same day his family announced the creation of the Ypsi Prep Academy, led by his father, E.J. Bates.

Meanwhile, his stock continued to soar as he was named the 2020 Gatorade Male Basketball Player of the Year, given to the top high school player in the country.

It raised further suspicion Bates will make the pro jump as soon as possible, but his father told Quinn nothing has changed so far:

"As of now, everything still stands as it was. Kids are kids, and kids make decisions all the time. Michigan State is still the place that he loves. They embraced him. They showed him love and they continue to show him love. They've always been good to him, so I don't see a switch up or anything. Now, if things change, or some rules change, you know—who knows? Because Michigan State, that's one dream. The NBA is another dream. I don't know. At the end of the day, it's Emoni's decision on what he wants to do."

Bates' arrival would be massive for Michigan State, making the team's games a must-see attraction for the entire 2022-23 season and likely providing a major boost Izzo's already strong recruiting track record.

There are clearly plenty of doubts about whether that day will ever arrive, though.