The 2022 recruiting class for the Michigan State men's basketball team reportedly took a major hit Friday.
According to basketball reporter Joe Tipton, Emoni Bates will decommit from the Spartans and reopen his recruitment. Bates is a 5-star prospect and the No. 1 overall player in his class, per 247Sports' composite rankings.
This is not the first notable loss for Tom Izzo's 2022 recruiting class, as big man Enoch Boakye, who is a 4-star prospect on 247Sports' composite rankings, decommitted in February. Boakye then reclassified to the 2021 class and joined the Arizona State Sun Devils.
As for Bates, Tipton reported he is "open to both college and pro options."
Travis Branham of 247Sports noted "it will come as little surprise if Bates follows the footsteps of other elite prospects such as Jalen Green and goes the professional route."
The small forward checks in at 6'8" and 200 pounds, and 247Sports' Brandon Jenkins listed Paul George as an NBA player comparison.
Like George, Bates has the versatility to defend multiple positions, shoot from the outside, attack off the bounce and set up teammates when opposing defenses collapse on him. He can simply shoot over smaller defenders and blow past bigger ones, and that skill set should easily transition to the NBA.
Even if he was at Michigan State for just one season, he is someone who could guide the Spartans to the Final Four and a Big Ten championship.
Instead, he may look to explore his professional options before eventually reaching the NBA.