Kentucky is reportedly in solid position with the next generational basketball talent in 2022 five-star wing Emoni Bates.
Considered the top overall prospect in all of high school basketball, regardless of class, Bates has mentioned Kentucky and Michigan State as two likely college options if he decides to go to school.
In a recent post on 247 Sports by Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, and Josh Gershon, they reported that the top option for Bates is to go straight to the NBA if the one-and-done rule goes away, but if not, it could come down to the Wildcats and Spartans.
“The Kevin Durant comparisons aren’t far off, as their body types and the way they score their points are similar,” they said in the report. “His ability to create space off the bounce, pull up on a dime and pour in jumper after jumper left coaches salivating, despite the fact that they likely will never coach him. He’s a special talent. If the NBA allows high prospects to enter the Draft, that’s likely what Bates will do. The schools he has mentioned if the rule doesn’t change are Michigan State and Kentucky.”
His father, Elgin Bates, told CBS Sports that it is a bad idea for college coaches to brush off his recruitment because they assume he’s going straight to the NBA when the league changes the rule in 2022, as expected.
According to the phenom’s father, not only is Emoni strongly considering college regardless of anticipated rule change, there’s a chance that official change falls through or becomes delayed, meaning he’ll have to explore the college route anyway.
“I believe the deterrent for most of the colleges is they probably feel he won’t ever step foot on a college campus,” he said. “I think it’s a wrongful assumption, especially for a kid who works as hard as he works and for a kid who’s proven that he’s worthy of getting scholarship offers. I definitely don’t think that’s fair to him, just due to the fact that, being a kid who anticipates getting offers because he sees guys in his class — not a knock on them — but guys in his class that might be lesser players that are getting offers and high-major offers. It would make him feel some type of way. But I always tell him to continue to remain humble, and at the end of the day, if they offer you too late and you don’t want to go, that’s their fault.”
At 6-foot-9, 200 pounds, Bates has already shown off an NBA-ready game, despite the fact that he still has three more years of high school and potentially one year of college.
You can see some of that on display below: