Indiana Basketball: What Emoni Bates’ commitment means for IU

Michigan State’s gigantic week isn’t great for Indiana Basketball, but there’s a catch.

This week, Tom Izzo reminded the Big Ten why the conference has run through Lansing the past two decades. Izzo arguably pulled off one of the greatest recruiting weeks of all time, securing the class of 2022 consensus #1 overall player Emoni Bates and class of 2021 #13 overall player Max Christie in the same week.

This news has the rest of the conference shaking in their boots. Bates is not just a number one recruit — he’s a phenom. Perhaps the most highly anticipated high school recruit since Lebron James in 2003, the native of Ypsilanti, Michigan has drawn comparisons to Kevin Durant due to his slender frame and exceptional height at 6’8”. He has no weaknesses in his offensive game and will likely dominate the NBA when his time comes.

However, that time may come sooner than you may think. If the NBA were to pass a rule enabling high school players to go straight to the pros from high school, Bates would likely make the jump and skip his college career at Michigan State.

For Indiana, that is good news. There are a lot of variables that need to go the Hoosiers’ way, but they have perhaps the greatest upward trajectory of any team in the conference at this point in time. Archie Miller is recruiting at an elite level, and the roster is loaded with talent it didn’t have even just a few years ago.

It’s possible that Indiana could have Khristian Lander and Trayce Jackson-Davis on the roster at the same time that Bates potentially attends Michigan State. If that were the case, Indiana would likely dominate the Big Ten, but going up against Michigan State would still be a tremendous challenge.

If all the dominos were to fall the right way, Indiana has a shot at greatness in 2022, but that is made more difficult should Bates attend college. It’s a situation worth monitoring for IU fans.