Pierson’s Potency


Two weeks have gone by and there have been many big events that have hit the sports world. It is officially March, which means the best postseason of any sport is on its way (March Madness). College basketball festivities are starting up with conference champions being crowned and conference tournaments being played. In a few weeks, the world’s eyes will be looking down on Indianapolis where the tournament will be held. A bubble, like the NBA, will involve 6 locations, including Lucas Oil Stadium and Banker Life Fieldhouse. One team that is fighting for a spot to get in is Michigan State. They had a few week pause due to COVID, then struggled for a week or two, but now is back on track winning four out of their last five. After recent news of a recruit, however, fans may have bigger things to worry about. In this week’s addition of Pierson’s Potency, we’ll take a look into Michigan State’s best commit ever and where his recruitment stands as of right now. 

Emoni Bates, the most hyped up basketball prospect since Lebron, is in the headlines once again this week. According to The Athletic, Emoni is believed to decommit from Michigan State and head straight to the league. The media has talked about this rumor ever since he committed to the Spartans in June so it is not a surprise to see another rumor out there, but this time it is a bit more serious than the other times. Former NBA player Kendrick Perkins and other analysts predicted the decommitment after his commitment. Now, it is a sports platform that has covered the NBA for years. The Athletic announced KD’s signing and covered the NBA bubble in depth. The Athletic is a very known sports journalist crew and has been a credible source for years. However you want to take it, this Emoni article that says his commitment is “inevitable” seems to be legit. Now, we’ll see some reasons why he will or will not decommit

Ever since Emoni was in 7th grade, there has been a national spotlight on him. Having a first hand experience to the crowd that follows him, I can say that he is definitely worthy of the hype, and ever since 7th grade he was able to build relationships with older star athletes. He notably became friends with Miles Bridges and the Michigan State team. Emoni created a special bond with the players and created a special love for the University, so when he committed to MSU, it was no surprise to most. This had been his home for a few years and he wanted to ball like players he idolized. Bates wants to be at MSU and you can tell. Right after the article about him dropped, he addressed the claims saying “ If you ain’t hear it from Emoni don’t believe it”. Most athletes do this when claims come in about them regardless if it is true or not, but he definitely could be telling the truth here. 

Other than the fact that he is a die hard MSU fan, Emoni might want to skip the league for a year of college due to multiple reasons. First, he’s a teenager. He probably wants to know what the college experience is like. He also would be young for the league. He would head into the league around 18 years old which is extremely young. Another aspect of Bates that might not be ready for the NBA is his frame. Yes, he is almost seven foot tall but he is very skinny for the NBA. Bates has always been compared to KD because he can shoot lights out, but mainly because he is scrawny. If he went to MSU, and added some pounds of muscle on him, he would be a scarier draft prospect. 

Even though there is a good reason for Emoni to return, there is a reason why many people think Bates is going straight to the league. The main reason for the hype is because he is NBA ready. Although his body is not necessarily NBA ready, his skill set is. There is a reason why he has been the most hyped up high school prospect since Lebron. Bates’ comparison with Kevin Durant is spot on. He is a three level scorer that does not struggle with putting the ball in the basket. Emoni has deep range but also a lethal mid-range game. Whenever he gets to the NBA level, he will have no issues scoring. So in his case, why play one year of college if he is already skilled enough for the league. 

This brings me to my next point: why would he go to college with the threat of serious injury? He already would be the sure #1 pick in the 2022 draft, but if he suffered a major injury, his draft stock would drop. He then could lose money from that and possibly never be the same. For example, Greg Oden was a very hyped up player, but after his first injury, he was never the same. He suffered from knee issues after he fractures his left patella. Also, Emoni and Oden are similar builds—both fairly skinny but very tall. Although Bates does not play like Oden, they both have a physical play style. It would be a shame if Emoni’s career was derailed by injuries.