Brian Rauf | @brauf33 | 06/29/20

Emoni Bates, the top-rated prospect in the 2022 recruiting class, announced his commitment to Michigan State on SportsCenter this afternoon.

“I’m not sure what the future may hold, but I do know that, right now, I am committing to Michigan State,” Bates told ESPN’s Jay Harris. “They’ve been showing love to me since I was in 7th grade. I’m big on loyalty and they’ve been showing me loyalty, so I need to show love back.”

The 6-8, 200-pound small forward picked the Spartans over several other offers, including ones from Michigan and Kentucky. He was named Gatorade National Player of the Year this past season, becoming the first sophomore ever to win the award.

Despite being the #1 rising junior in the country, many schools have not been heavily pursuing Bates. There remains serious doubt about whether Bates will attend college at all.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has referenced the “one-and-done” rule might be abolished prior to the 2022 NBA Draft, which would allow players to declare straight out of high school. Bates is slated to graduate high school that year.

The Ypsilanti, MI native is currently projected to be the top overall pick in either the 2022 or 2023 class, depending on when he’s eligible. If he is eligible to declare straight from high school, he is expected to do so.

Check out his highlight film below.

Brian Rauf is a college basketball writer for His content has been featured by Sports Illustrated, Bleacher Report, and FanSided, among other publications. Rauf is also a current USBWA member and Rockin’ 25 voter.