Perhaps the best basketball prospect since LeBron James has made his college commitment, and Tom Izzo is the beneficiary. Emoni Bates, a 6-9 wing, made his commitment to the Spartans on Monday, saying that he preferred the college basketball route to that of the G-League’s alternative path program.
Bates is still just 16 years old and has plenty of time to change his mind, but for right now, the last school to really be recruiting him (according to a Jeff Goodman tweet) is able to say that they have landed a transcendent talent.
Bates is a scoring wing out of Ypsilanti, Mich., who can score in just about every way imaginable. His YouTube highlight videos are full of running one-handed floaters, pull up jumpers, and slithery drives where he gets to the hoop with ease. There is even a viral video of him making 30-plus consecutive three-point shots in practice in multiple sessions.
Many pundits suggest that it is still highly unlikely that Bates ever plays in college, referring, of course, to the potential for the NBA to begin allowing high school players to once again opt for the draft, and I agree.
The potential for injury is a concern, and why would you want to waste a year in college when you could be burning a season of your rookie deal? The decision seems easy, though Zion Williamson always claimed that he was going to school regardless.
Arizona Slows Bringing Athletes Back
The Arizona athletic department has ceased its plans to bring athletes back to campus this week, according to a report by ESPN.
The stoppage was brought on by the rising number of athletes that are testing positive for the coronavirus upon returning the college campuses. Austin Peay has closed its facilities and postponed its voluntary workouts after a “cluster” of infections was discovered among its athletes.
Nearly two weeks ago, 30 LSU student-athletes either tested positive or had been exposed to the virus in some way, shape, or form. On the same day, Kansas State reported 14 cases, while Clemson reported nearly 30.
According to the report, only one of the 83 tests administered by Arizona came back positive. The school is planning to keep athletes that have already arrived on campus in Tuscon but is waiting on word as to whether or not they can continue practice as the state of Arizona has ordered that all gyms be closed down.
The recent results from teams returning to school have brought questions back to the forefront as to whether or not there should be collegiate sports at all. The NBA and MLB are full steam ahead with their seasons, but they are professional athletes that are paid for their services.
The players at these schools are often labeled “student-athletes” by their schools and governing body while the term “amateurism” is thrown around almost jokingly at this point.
What if the students refuse? Will they lose their scholarships? How will the NCAA respond?
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