Top Prospect Emoni Bates Kicks Off His Junior Year At Hoopfest


Before his junior year in high school, Emoni Bates has already appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, been named Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year and drawn comparisons to Kevin Durant. He’s unanimously regarded as the top player in high school and CBS’ Gary Parrish says Bates’ “can’t miss” status reminds him of another hoops phenom.

“I remember back in the early 2000s when I’d talk to college coaches about LeBron James, and he was the one prospect that everybody agreed on. Nobody thought he was overhyped. Nobody thought he was a possible bust. Everybody genuinely believed he was an incredible talent destined to do great things. I hear and have witnessed similar things with Emoni Bates,” Parrish said.

Watch The 2020 Thanksgiving Hoopfest Live On FloHoops

In June, Bates committed to Michigan State. But that is still two seasons away. In the interim, Bates has decided to switch schools and will attend, Ypsi Prep Academy in Ypsilanti, Michigan after spending his first two years at Lincoln High School in Ypsilanti. Bates’ father, Elgin, opened the school and will coach the team. 

The first year of school will not lack for exposure. Their national schedule against the country’s best begins on November 28th against Duncanville (TX) at the Thanksgiving Hoopfest at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Bates is 6’8, but possesses guard skills that have drawn such strong parallels to Durant. He averaged 32 points and nine rebounds per game during his sophomore season and connected on 37% of his three-pointers. He can shoot off the dribble, attack the rim and handle the ball.

Ypsi Prep’s line-up also features Bates’ future Michigan State teammate, Jaden Akins. Akins, a senior, is an explosive scorer from the point guard position with a good outside shot. Also in Ypsi’s line-up are four-star juniors, JaVaugh Hannah, Dillon Hunter and Shawn Phillips. Phillips, 6’10, is one of the nation’s top-rated centers. Hunter is the third-best point guard of the 2022, according to ESPN

In Duncanville, Ypsi will meet the Texas 6A state champions from 2019. They are led by Ronald Holland, a 6’6 five-star forward. Holland is ranked eighth among the sophomore class, per the 247 Sports rankings. Alongside Holland, is a trio of Division I bound players. Point guard Zhuric Phelps is a three-star recruit who is committed to SMU. Damon Nichoals Jr. is headed to Sam Houston State and Juan Reyna will attend Alabama State.

In the first game of the evening, St. Marks (TX) will play John Paul II (TX). St. Marks is ranked 32nd according to CBS Sports

Fatts Russell Is Steady Presence Atop Rhode Island's New-Look Roster

Fatts Russell

The Rhode Island men figure to lean heavily on leading scorer and preseason A10 first team member Fatts Russell in 2020-2021 as they look to fill the void left by three departed starters from last season.

San Diego State, Washington Tangle At Women's Vegas Bubble


A season of inevitable schedule changes and new faces for the Washington and San Diego State women’s basketball programs begins on Tuesday night. 

Mark Byington & Takayo Siddle Hired To New CAA Positions During A Pandemic

Mark Byington

There’s usually a certain chaotic cadence to a Division I men’s basketball coaching search.

Replacing Nathan Knight Is A Tall Order For William & Marry In CAA Hoops

Nathan Knight, W&M

Dane Fischer didn’t waste much time during CAA media day last week discussing the elephant in the room — or, more accurately, the 6-foot-10 big man no longer in the Tribe’s locker room.

Towson's Zane Martin Earns James Harden Comparisons In Tigers Return

Zane Martin

Roughly 1,900 miles separate Towson, Maryland, and Albuquerque, New Mexico. That’s a distance Zane Martin has traversed twice in his college basketball odyssey. 

CSUN, Air Force, Seattle Square Off In Vegas Bubble


In 2020, non-conference games are a premium in NCAA basketball. Teams are heading into “bubbles” all across the country in hopes of getting a few games in before their conference schedule begins. Las Vegas will play host to three teams--Cal State Northridge, Air Force, Seattle University--aiming to log some wins before the meat of their schedule in December. 

Florida Has A Need For Speed After Sluggish Season

Keyontae Johnson

Coming off a disappointing 19-12 campaign, the Florida Gators are committed to speeding up an offense that was among the slowest in college basketball a year ago.

Charlotte Hornets Select Charleston's Grant Riller In Round 2 Of NBA Draft


RICHMOND, Va. – College of Charleston’s Grant Riller, a three-time Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) First Team selection, was chosen in the second round of the 2020 NBA Draft, held on Wednesday night.

Virginia Hopes Nation's Top Defense Will Once Again Carry Them


For a team that ranked third to last in the NCAA in scoring a year ago, Virginia enters the 2020-2021 campaign with the substantial challenge of replacing 40-percent of their points from last season.