The 2019-20 season is now in the rearview mirror, and Duke has been crowned the NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions. However, there are still plenty of questions to be answered about what will happen next year for college basketball.
The how tall is emoni bates will have a huge impact on the future of men’s college basketball.
Emoni Bates, a top basketball prospect, revealed on Wednesday that he will reclassify from the 2022 to the 2021 class year, and he named three college schools and the NBA G League’s pre-draft route as contenders for his basketball services this season. Jalen Duren, the No. 2 talent in the Class of 2022, is set to reveal his reclassification intentions and next basketball destination on Friday, and is widely anticipated to follow Bates in reclassifying.
What impact would the acquisition of two five-star recruits have on the programs that Bates and Duren choose? What impact will the phenoms have on the Final Four and national championship races in 2021-22?
We looked at them and other issues ahead of Duren’s scheduled announcement:
Which shows are vying for Emoni Bates’ attention?
On Wednesday, Bates down his choices to four: Oregon, Memphis, Michigan State, and the G League. Miami, Baylor, Overtime Elite, and the NBL in Australia are no longer on his list, which he narrowed down in late July. Bates hasn’t established a decision date yet, but he’s been thinking for a few weeks that he’ll go on tours before deciding on a school. It’s unclear if that timetable has accelerated.
Which programs are vying for Jalen Duren’s attention?
Duren is expected to make his decision on Friday night, and he has the potential to alter the fortunes of whatever institution he chooses in 2021-22. Duren has five options: Memphis, Miami, Kentucky, the G League, and the National Basketball League. There is no obvious favorite for Duren as the last day of his recruitment approaches, but most sources appear to believe that collegiate choices are more likely than professional possibilities. On Wednesday, I polled ten industry insiders to find out where they believe Duren is headed, and there was no agreement, much alone a majority. Schools are really in the dark as we approach the finish line.
Jalen Duren’s expected decision on Friday may have ramifications in college basketball. Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire photo
What are the chances that Bates and Duren will team up in 2021-22? Is it true that they desire to play together?
Over the last several weeks, rumors have circulated that the two had discussed playing together in college. After Bates crossed Miami off his list, the two had just two choices for playing together at the next level: Memphis or the G League. With college seeming to be Duren’s most probable destination, Memphis would be the only option. The Tigers are a strong contender for both of these guys.
What kind of effect would one or both of these guys have on Memphis? Do the Tigers then have a chance to win the national championship?
Getting both would certainly put Memphis in the top 10, while getting one would put them in the top 20. Bates will be a top-10 selection in whatever NBA draft he joins (as of now, he’s too young to enter the 2022 NBA draft), while Duren will also be a top-10 pick in 2022. With three players returning from a team that won the NIT title, the Tigers are a borderline Top 25 club heading into next season. Penny Hardaway also brought in Earl Timberlake, a former predicted first-round selection from Miami, as well as two ESPN 100 prospects and two additional Power 5 transfers. It’s a critical season for Hardaway at Memphis, as he enters his fourth season and has yet to play in the NCAA tournament. Bates and/or Duren would be instrumental in getting the Tigers over the top and into the NCAA Tournament.
What effect will Bates’ arrival have on Michigan State or Oregon?
Bates, who decommitted from Michigan State in the spring, is probably the most likely of the two to sign with Oregon. If the Spartans are able to reclaim him, they will be a definite Top 25 team. They’ve been around the 20-30 area for the entire summer, but they’ve lacked a go-to scorer. Bates could come in and score 17-20 points a game right away, making him the offensive focal point.
Emoni Bates’ future plans remain a mystery — will he play college basketball? Macey Kate Herges is a writer who lives in New York City
To pair with top-10 prospect Nate Bittle and returning mainstays Will Richardson and Eric Williams Jr., Dana Altman added three significant transfers in the spring: Jacob Young (Rutgers), Quincy Guerrier (Syracuse), and De’Vincy Harmon (Oklahoma). Bates would provide a natural wing scorer for the Ducks, as well as perimeter size in what might be a thin lineup in Eugene this season. It’s important mentioning that Oregon made the offer to Bates just before his last game of the July live session, and Altman was there during that game.
What effect will Duren have on Kentucky or Miami if he joins them?
Despite adding four transfers and a five-star prospect since the season ended, the Wildcats are still looking for another frontcourt talent. They were thought to be the frontrunners for Illinois transfer Kofi Cockburn until he returned to the Fighting Illini, and they haven’t lost up on Duren. Along with Oscar Tshiebwe and new prospect Daimion Collins, Duren would provide John Calipari with another powerful inside rebounder and finisher. Kentucky is barely within the top 10 in my preseason rankings, and Duren would put them even farther into national championship contention.
I have a higher opinion of Miami heading into the season than others, since the Hurricanes have one of the most skilled and deep perimeter groupings in the ACC. Up front, they have Anthony Walker, who may be a breakthrough player. They do, however, lack a constant focal point down low, which is where Duren would fit in and push Miami to the next level. I believe he will propel the Hurricanes into the Top 25 and into contention for a top-four finish in the ACC championship battle, which should be wide open.
Emoni Bates is the first sophomore in history to be named Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year. With his electric mixtape, you’ll see why.
Is it a coincidence that both athletes seem to be mainly interested in Nike-sponsored collegiate programs?
It’s possible. Last year, though, both players were members of Nike-sponsored grassroots teams on the Nike EYBL circuit and attended Nike-sponsored high schools. Duren’s list includes one noteworthy non-Nike school: Adidas-sponsored Miami, despite the Hurricanes’ hiring of DJ Irving this summer. Irving coached Duren with Team Final and also at Roman Catholic (Pennsylvania), which Duren attended before transferring to Montverde Academy (Florida).
What would it mean for college basketball if both Bates and Duren chose the G League over college basketball?
It would be a setback for college basketball, since both players, especially Bates, would attract millions of viewers to the game for the duration of their college careers. If they can work together at Memphis, the Tigers will be a must-see team next season. If they broke up and went to separate colleges, it would add to the season’s intrigue for a handful of new institutions. I also believe that opting for the G League would be a setback for the perception of name, image, and likeness, which is supposed to level the playing field when top talents are deciding between college and the professional option.