Memphis has no such precedent. This is the school that was home to Keith Lee and Larry Finch, as well as Penny Hardaway, Lorenzen Wright and Tyreke Evans. It has never been visited by two of these players simultaneously.
Emoni Bates wanted to join the Tigers and be their second top-five recruit in the 2021 class. He jumped 24 hours from his commitment announcement. Maybe Bates forgot the day, which was a common problem in this pandemic era.
Bates, once considered to be the best prospect in American youth basketball, announced that he will commit to Memphis on Thursday. Elgin Bates, his father, said yesterday that the news would be out Friday. But now, it is.
Emoni has been rated as No. The Recruiting Services Consensus Index ranked Emoni No. 4 in his class for 2021. Jalen Duren (6-10 power forward) is No. 5. The new players join an established roster that also includes three of last year’s NIT winners’ top scorers. This will raise expectations of the Tigers to levels not seen since their No. 1 ranking. They were ranked 3rd in preseason polls for 2007-08 and lost the national championship in overtime.
Despite these additions, Hardaway is still the school’s most talented player. He is now the college basketball coach, charged with transforming these players into elite college basketball stars. It will be difficult. This is because coaches who have never had to deal with single-and-done talent before are unlikely to be able immediately master this volatile art.
Hardaway is entering his fourth season as the Tigers’ coach. He has won more than 20 games in his previous years, and his winning percentage has grown each year. However, he has never coached in the NCAA Tournament. His Tigers will now be in the preseason’s top 10 ranked teams according to polls. No matter how well the individual players performed, we have witnessed teams like 2019-20 Washington (Isaiah Stewart, Jaden McDaniels 15-17), 2018-19 Indiana, Romeo Langford 19-16, 2017-18 Oklahoma (18-14), and 2017-18 Texas (19 Mohamed Bamba, 20-15) fail to achieve such highs.
Jon Rothstein, a CBS Sports analyst said that “Rhythm and Chemistry are the most important questions right now in Memphis,” Sporting News was told. Is it incredibly talented to be on the Tigers roster? Yes, we have seen the movie.
Rothstein notes that the Tigers lost their top-five prospect center James Wiseman to NCAA suspension, and then withdrawal in 2019-20. However, they still had Precious Achiuwa, a first-round selection, and many other talented players. They went only 10-8 in American Athletic Conference. Last season, the team included Landers Nolley, Lester Quinones, and DeAndre Wils but could not make it to the NCAAs.
Rothstein stated that Memphis must use Quinones as a point guard to get the best players. The lineup includes Williams, Nolley and two newcomers. Quinones was averaging 1.9 assists per game in just 26 minutes last season. Another option is to keep one or more of these players and make Alex Lomax (6-1) the primary player. Lomax started all four games in last season’s campaign.
Hardaway appointed Larry Brown, a legendary coach and winner of the NCAA Championship at Kansas in 1988 as his assistant. He also won an NBA title in 2004 with the Pistons. He has more support on both the bench and on the court. All of this will be necessary.
Rothstein stated that anything less than making it to the 2022 NCAA Tournament is unacceptable.
Sporting News met briefly with Bates, and then with Elgin his father after Emoni played in the youth games at the 2019 EYBL championship. At 15 years old, Bates was compared to NBA star Kevin Durant because of his height and length. However, those who overestimated Durant’s incredible size and extraordinary talent may have underestimated how Bates would develop.
His progress is still uncertain. He was forced to play with his less-talented teammates when he decided to remain in the Bates Fundamentals summer league. He was a Michigan State Champion at Lincoln High School in Ypsilanti, and his sophomore year was cut short by the COVID-19 epidemic. After that, he started playing as a junior at Ypsi Prep Academy. Emoni scored 23 points per game on a 10-game Ypsi schedule due to the pandemic. He then decided to accelerate his high school graduation and enter college for the 2021-22 academic year.
As a rising sophomore, it was thought that he would be the first person since 2005 to make the NBA Draft straight out of high school. Commissioner Adam Silver was part of the push to remove the limit on draft age at 19 years. The players’ association was not in a hurry to accept this. This means that Bates won’t be available for draft until 2023.
Meanwhile, college athletes had the chance to make a profit on their likenesses and names. This could have been a boon for talent such as Duren and Bates in an area where basketball is a big deal.
Imagine what they’d feel like if Hardaway could do all of this.
Publiated at Thu 26 August 2021, 01:17.36 +0000