Emoni Bates, the No. 1 prospect in the class of 2022, committed to Michigan State, he announced Monday during a broadcast on ESPN.
"They (Michigan State) get all my respect," Bates said, according to ESPN's Jeff Borzello. "I love how they coach, Coach (Tom) Izzo, I like how they focus on defense more than offense. On and off the court, he has passion. He's just an amazing guy, overall."
Bates is widely considered one of the most promising high school prospects in recent memory. The 6-foot-9 forward says he'd consider reclassifying if his upcoming season playing for Lincoln High School proves to be "too easy." As a sophomore, Bates led Lincoln to an 18-3 record and a state title while averaging 33.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 2.3 steals.
The 16-year-old has impressed scouts with his strong ability to create off the dribble and shoot from long range. He's the first commitment in the 2022 recruiting class for Michigan State, according to 247 Sports' Travis Branham.
Bates said he doesn't think he'll go pro through the G League's new development program, according to Borzello, unlike fellow No. 1-ranked recruit Jalen Green.
Based on the NBA's current rules, the earliest Bates could be drafted into the NBA is 2023. However, in recent years, there's been talk of the NBA abolishing its one-and-done rule, which forbids players from entering the league directly out of high school.