Emoni Bates
The number one player in the 2022 class, Emoni Bates, will reclassify to the 2021 class and choose between college or the G-League. (Junfu Han/USA TODAY Sports)

Emoni Bates to Reclassify, Choose Between College and G-League

Emoni Bates, the kid who has sat at the top of the 2022 class for the better part of three years, has announced that he will reclassify to the 2021 class and choose between college or the G-League in the coming weeks, as first reported by Jeff Goodman of Stadium. If Bates chooses the collegiate route, his three options are Oregon, Memphis and Michigan State.

Bates is also just 17 years old, so he will not be eligible for the 2022 NBA draft, despite being a year removed from high school as a result of this announcement. That is worth noting because it could play a role in his decision making.

Bates has long been considered one of the best basketball prospects available, and he’s been raved about since his freshman year. He is a lanky wing that can score at all three levels. While his shot selection is sometimes questionable, Bates has an uncanny ability to knock down shots that few others at his age can. His frame is likely the only other knock to his game, but he will definitely fill out and hit the weight room as his career blossoms.

With the 6-9 wing officially announcing his reclassification, all eyes will turn to 2022 No. 2 Jalen Duren. Duren is a 6-10 center that is a physically dominant and mature interior presence beyond his years. He can protect the paint and is excellent crashing to the rim and finishing above opponents whether on lobs or face-up post moves. Both Bates and Duren played with each other this past cycle on the Nike EYBL circuit for Team Final. The duo was electric and can score at an impressive clip, and those offensive skillsets will likely not be diminished by the bright lights at the collegiate or pro level. Duren is set to announce his collegiate/pro decision on Friday with Kentucky, Miami and Memphis as collegiate finalists and the G-League and NBL as pro routes.

With Memphis being the only collegiate program that has offered both players that is certainly an avenue that Duren and Bates could wind up at. The G-League has also offered the pair. Again, this is all hindering on Duren’s possible reclassification, although there is the chance that he stays put in 2022 and plays another year of prep ball.

Regardless of what Duren decides to do, the college basketball world will be waiting to see what the Michigan native decides with his future.


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