Memphis freshman Emonie BatesThe former No. 1 recruit announced on Saturday that he intends to enter the transfer portal.
“I would like to thank Coach Benny [Hardaway]and my teammates and all the coaching staff at the University of Memphis for giving me the opportunity to be a tiger,” Bates wrote on Instagram. “Thank you Tiger Nation for embracing me and all of you who have supported our team throughout this season. However, I’ve decided to step into the transfer portal. Thank you!”
Bates, a 6-foot-9 petite striker from Ypsilanti, Michigan, has been considered one of the top potential high school basketball players over the past few years. He ranked first in the 2022 class throughout his high school career, before reclassifying to the 2021 class last summer and finishing third.
He originally committed to Michigan in the summer of 2020 before hiring reopened in April 2021. For most high schools, Bates widely expected to skip college and choose to play professionally. But he underwent a legitimate conscription this past spring and summer, eventually committing to Memphis in late August.
Bates had a freshman season inconsistent with the Tigers. He opened his college career with 17 points on his debut against Tennessee Tech, then followed it up with 15 points against North Carolina Central and 16 against Saint Louis. Bates hit double figures five times the rest of the season, failing to score more than 13 points in another game.
He also missed 15 of his 33 games with a back injury that required him to fly home to Michigan to see a specialist.
Bates finished his new season with an average of 9.7 points and 3.3 rebounds.
Since Bates turned 18 in January, he is ineligible for the 2022 NBA Draft. In addition to transferring to another school, he can also choose to play in the G League or the Overtime Elite for one year before going to the NBA.