Bates not clear #1 recruit. Still not going to MSU.
EFFICIENCY WANING BUT PLAYMAKING IS IMPROVING
What's made Emoni special from the jump has been his extremely advanced and polished skillset as a scorer coupled with his size on the perimeter. Bates has terrific footwork, has some wiggle and has been able to create his own shot and score from all three levels for years - with plenty of range. At this stage, he remains much the same but as his peers have caught up both physically and athletically, his ability to effectively and efficiently create space and connect on what used to work has been hindered.
Bates was inefficient all weekend long, settling for tough and deep pull-up jumpers and forcing the issue around the rim. Again, Bates was receiving double- and triple-teams when attacking off the bounce and with the load he is forced to carry, his job is not set up to be easy. Life in the pros will be less cumbersome in that regard, but he'd still figure to received dogged defensive attention every game. One area in which Bates shine was his playmaking. His scoring draws all of the attention but Bates is a very underrated passer. This is an extremely positive area of development. With the double- and triple-teams, Bates consistently found his teammates for open shots around the rim and on the perimeter. That's something that will continue to translate and expand as he climbs the ranks.
IS ALL OF THE CRITICISM WARRANTED?
Although his peers are catching up to him, Bates is still a special prospect. His size, advanced scoring package and budding playmaking abilities are all further ahead than many prospects we have seen come through grassroots. Yes, I would like to see his shot selection improve but again, he is being forced to carry a heavy load and is an area that will need to be carefully tracked as he moves to the next level.
Bates will look better and improve with more spacing. He also will benefit from a heavier pick-and-roll system where he can further stretch the defense, attack mismatches and collapse the defense to further showcase his playmaking abilities. By doing so, the defense will be forced to be much more honest with him. Facing fewer double teams, his efficiency should rise back up. The amount of criticism Bates is receiving in the scouting world is not fully warranted given the circumstances, but he is entering a pivotal point in his development. Bates is still special, but so is Duren.
At this point, the conversation stands at ranking them as 1A an 1B - the order of which is open for interpretation.