Eight more days until Indiana basketball begins the season and our player countdown of the Hoosiers roster continues with the next guy on our list being a sophomore guard, Tamar Bates. Bates has a huge opportunity to be the Big Ten breakout player this season and shatter expectations.
Tamar Bates | 6’5″ 198bs | Sophomore Guard
In his freshman campaign, Bates served as the eighth man off the bench for Mike Woodson and the Hoosiers, playing in 32 of 35 games and averaging 3.9 points and 1.3 rebounds. Though he didn’t shoot the ball well (33.8 FG%), does anybody in an Indiana uniform really shoot all that well?
Give this guy one off-season and more motivation, and he will be one of the most important guys for Indiana basketball this upcoming season.
Bates scored in double digits in four games as a freshman, he came up big in games against St. John’s (NY), Nebraska, and Michigan State. Expect this guy to play at least 20 minutes per game off the bench, especially as the freshman continues to acclimate to the college basketball scene.
Before Bates came to Bloomington last season, he was a 4-star guard from IMG Academy that ranked 30th in the 2021 recruiting class nationally, sixth among shooting guards, and fifth in the state of Florida. Despite him coming from a well-renowned high school academy, there wasn’t tons of pressure on Bates to be perfect out the gate because of Trayce Jackson-Davis, Race Thompson, and others.
Bates has this huge opportunity to represent the Hoosiers and lead this bench unit alongside Jordan Geronimo and Trey Galloway. I believe we will see a huge bump in every statistical category from Bates in his sophomore season, and things will only look up from there as we will likely have to rely on Bates as our go-to guy for the next two seasons.