In Eastern Michigan‘s 88-83 loss to No. 22 Michigan in Detroit on Friday night, Emoni Bates looked like the player who’d once been hyped as a future NBA star when he scored 30 points and nearly led his team to the upset.

Bates, the No. 3 recruit in the 2021 class who played at Memphis last season, made seven of his first nine shots (12-for-19 overall) against the Wolverines in his first game since transferring.

During his sophomore season in high school, Bates was widely regarded as one of America’s top recruits, regardless of class. Once hailed as the next Kevin Durant in grassroots circles, Bates reclassified from the 2022 class, where he was the top recruit according to ESPN’s rankings, into the 2021 class (No. 3 per ESPN) before he signed with Penny Hardaway and Memphis months before the 2021-22 season.

But Bates, who was just 17 years old at the start of his freshman campaign, struggled in his first season of college basketball — 9.7 PPG, 39% from the field, 2.3 turnovers per game — and subsequently decided to transfer. He landed at Eastern Michigan in his hometown of Ypsilanti, Michigan, mostly viewed as a fallen star who had failed to live up to the one-and-done hype and lost most of his luster in the eyes of NBA executives.

Then, he was arrested on two felony charges related to a gun that was found in a vehicle he was driving near campus in September. A difficult chapter for the 6-foot-9 talent became more ominous after Eastern Michigan suspended him from all team activities as a result.

But Bates was reinstated to the team last month after prosecutors agreed to drop the charges against him. Defense attorney Steve Haney said the vehicle and the gun didn’t belong to Bates.

Eastern Michigan coach Stan Heath did not play Bates in the team’s season-opening game on Monday against Division II Wayne State, and the former Michigan State assistant would not say why he sat the sophomore.

Bates was not made available to the media before or after the game, and Heath said it might be a few weeks before he is interviewed by reporters.

“It was a struggle for him when he was not with the team,” Heath said. “When he came back and talked to the team, the coaches left. I can just tell you that he appreciates his opportunity to be back home, playing with a lot of teammates he has known for years.

“What people see is all the hype, but he’s an 18-year-old kid who works really hard to be an elite basketball player.”

Against Michigan on Friday, Bates displayed some of the dazzling traits that prompted LeBron James to tweet “Emoni Bates up next!” after watching him at a grassroots event last summer.

He showed his touch from the 3-point line (3-for-6). In the first half, he made a jump shot off one leg. He danced after a dunk in the second half. And he competed with a fire that might make Eastern Michigan a serious threat in the MAC race — the Eagles were picked to finish seventh in the league’s preseason poll — and a potential challenge for a Power Five opponent in the first round if they can make their way to the NCAA tournament.

“There’s a chance for this young man to do some special things in the game of basketball,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said.

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.

Source link

Ex-top recruit Emoni Bates has 30 in Eastern Michigan debut

For watching live sports, visit

BoomTV offers exceptional live TV service with the highest iptv standards.

Never miss a live sports event, catchup on all your tv shows and get access to all the latest movies out there.


site logo - Replay Madness watch now button watch online stream vector eps 10 isolated white background 399089 15863 - Replay Madness