Emoni Bates, a top player in the 2021 recruiting class has committed to play for Penny Hardaway and the Memphis Tigers. If you have been following the recruitment of Bates, it has been all over the place. Staying on topic, Bates will join fellow top prospect, Jalen Duren at Memphis. What does this mean for the Tigers? Championship or bust. Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren have both reclassified from the 2022 class to the 2021 class.
The Crazy Recruting Ride of Emoni Bates
If you all remember, just over a year ago Bates was a Spartan. On June 29, 2020, during a global pandemic, the top prospect committed to play for the Spartans of Michigan State. Coming into that commitment, Bates was the youngest player to win the Gatorade Player of the Year at age 16.
Fast forward just about a year later, he ends up decommitting from Tom Izzo’s program. At this point, everyone thought that being a top prospect meant that Bates was eventually going to go the pro route. With the talks of the NCAA paying college athletes amping up at this time, it looked like a clear pathway to the pros for Emoni. When the NCAA declared the NIL, and with another top prospect joining Memphis, things took a turn. Now Emoni Bates and Jalen Duren, ranked fourth and fifth respectively in the 2021 class, are teaming up with an already stacked roster.
This is truly championship or bust for Penny Hardaway. His roster consists of a mix of experience and generational talent. Hardaway’s number one recruiting class consists of two five-stars, two four-stars, and two three-stars. The construction of this team gives them the chance at something very special. Let us see how the season plays out.
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