Emoni Bates may not attend college when it’s all said and done, but if he does, Tom Izzo is doing his best to make sure Michigan State basketball is the choice.
Tom Izzo’s time at Michigan State may not quite be close to an end just yet, but he’s no doubt feeling the pressure of winning national title No. 2.
Retirement is on the horizon and Izzo wants to win that second title before then and there’s one big name who could help him do just that: Emoni Bates.
The five-star 2022 prospect is ranked the No. 1 player in the class and many believe he’s the best basketball recruit in the nation and a Kevin Durant-like prospect. That kind of hype doesn’t go unnoticed, but yet he rarely hears from college coaches and that was never more evident than at midnight heading into Monday when the contact period began.
According to Adam Zagoria who spoke to Bates’ dad, Izzo was the only coach to give him a call at midnight when the coaches could start calling recruits.
While this seems like a weird development, many coaches don’t feel the need to waste time because it’s almost a forgone conclusion that if the NBA changes its rules on eligibility age, Emoni will be going straight to the league.
What this means for Michigan State basketball
Izzo is building that lead in the event that Bates reclassifies to 2021 or the age rule doesn’t go into effect until 2023 or later.
If the rule doesn’t change in time or Emoni reclassifies, there are going to be dozens of coaches who feel silly for not having recruited him harder. He has basically gone unrecruited despite being considered one of the best recruits from the past decade-plus.
Michigan State has a big lead in this recruitment and while it may be all for naught, it may also be a grand slam commitment in the end.
The lead continues to grow for Michigan State as it looks like the program to beat in the intriguing Bates sweepstakes.