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Memphis adds 5-star guard Emoni Bates to loaded roster

Syndication: Detroit Free Press

Ypsi Prep forward Emoni Bates (21) celebrates a play against SPIRE Academy during the second half at Central Academy in Ann Arbor, Saturday, March 13, 2021.

Junfu Han via Imagn Content Services, LLC

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Emoni Bates has committed to Memphis, adding another five-star recruit to coach Penny Hardaway’s roster.

Bates announced his decision on Instagram after also considering Michigan State, Oregon and the NBA’s G League. The Michigan native committed to Tom Izzo and the Spartans last year before changing his mind in April.

The 6-foot-8 guard has been called a generational talent and is projected as the No. 1 overall pick when he becomes eligible for the NBA draft after he turns 19 in 2023.

Bates, who recently reclassified to the class of 2021, joins fellow five-star recruit and former AAU teammate Jalen Duren on a Memphis roster that has added a load of talent for the upcoming season.

Hardaway has proven to be an adept recruiter since taking over at his alma mater in 2018, landing some of the nation’s top recruiting classes. The former NBA All-Star signed James Wiseman, the top overall prospect, and fellow five-star player Precious Achiuwa in his first class and has led the Tigers to three straight winning seasons.

Bates has a chance to be the best of the bunch.

He’s already appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and was the first sophomore to be named National Gatorade Player of the Year after averaging 33.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.3 steals per game.

The addition of Bates gives Memphis the nation’s top-rated 2021 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports composite.