Top-ranked junior Emoni Bates, widely considered one of the best high school basketball prospects in the past decade, announced Friday that he was decommitting from Michigan State and reopening his recruitment.
“I would like to thank Tom Izzo and the coaching staff at Michigan State but I have decided to reopen my recruitment,” Bates wrote on Instagram. “I’m not sure what my future holds but I am keeping all of my options open, both college and pro.”
The 6-foot-8 Bates was the first five-star prospect committed to Michigan State since Jaren Jackson in 2017, and the first No. 1 prospect to commit to the Spartans since the ESPN recruiting database started in 2007.
Bates committed to the Spartans last June. Despite being considered a potentially generational prospect, Michigan State was the only program consistently recruiting him at the time. Izzo attended several games and stayed in contact throughout the first couple of years of Bates’ high school career.
College coaches and industry sources have been skeptical that Bates will actually attend college, thinking he would potentially prefer to go to the G League for a year before the NBA. The No. 1 prospect in the 2020 class, Jalen Green, opted to go that route, as did five-star prospects Jonathan Kuminga, Isaiah Todd and Daishen Nix.
Bates could also reclassify from the 2022 class to 2021, then take a postgraduate year before entering the NBA draft.
When Bates committed to Michigan State, he told ESPN he wasn’t planning to go the G League route.
“It’s good for certain players. That’s a lot of money,” he said at the time. “I don’t think I’ll do it. It’s good for some people, but I don’t think I’ll head that route.”
Bates changed high schools last summer, playing for Ypsi Prep (Michigan), a prep school started by his father, Elgin.