Five-star SF Emoni Bates talks relationship with Chris Beard

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Every program in the country is going to want Emoni Bates. The class of 2022 small forward is the No. 1 player in the country and rated a perfect 1.000 on the 247Sports composite.

To compare, only six basketball recruits have been rated a perfect 1.000 since the composite’s inception in 2003. Those names are LeBron James (2003), Dwight Howard (2004), Greg Oden (2006), Andrew Wiggins (2013), R.J. Barrett (2018), and Chet Holmgren (2021).

If you need a football comparison, Vince Young is one of five players on the gridiron to reach the same level.

For Texas, landing Bates would be the biggest thing since Kevin Durant arrived on campus. Shaka Smart had the ability to bring in highly-rated recruits but were all big men in a day and age where elite guard play is going to win you championships.

Bates may be classified as a small forward but has more than enough capability to take over games. He has been compared to Durant and even more recently Paul George.

The five-star prospect caught up with 247Sports to discuss his newly open recruitment. Chris Beard and the Longhorns were the first program to reach out to Bates after he decommitted from Michigan State in early May.

“Our relationship is really good, they were the first school to offer me after I decommitted from Michigan State,” said Bates. “They just called, talked to me and reached out to my family. With them I haven’t really gotten to watch them yet. I watched videos of (Kevin Durant) when he was there but not their game recently.”

According to the article, Memphis and Tennessee remain squarely in the competition, while turning professional is still an option. Former Texas head coach Rick Barnes, who was Durant’s college coach, is leading the charge for the Volunteers.

With Beard only signing one member in the 2021 class, Texas will be taking a few players in the ’22 cycle. Five-star shooting guard Keyonte George recently released a top-five list, as did four-star point guard Arterio Morris.

Bates could headline a historic recruiting class for Texas basketball.