East Michigan forward Emoni Bates scored 43 points — 29 of them straight to close out the first half — in an 84-79 loss to Toledo. Here’s what you need to know:
- Jalin Billingsley started the game with Eastern Michigan’s first four points and Yusuf Jihad followed with two more. Bates then hit the next 29 straight for the Eagles.
- Bates was the No. 5 draft pick in the 2022 class according to 247Sports and one of the top NBA draft prospects going into his freshman season in Memphis.
- Bates averaged 9.7 points and 3.3 rebounds in 18 games with the Tigers before moving to Eastern Michigan.
- The Athletics Sam Vecenie ranks Bates as a potential No. 34 candidate in 2023.
The making of the next chapter of Emoni Bates
What that means for Bates
First and foremost, it was just great to see Bates come back to the court after an essentially lost season at Memphis last season when he was asked to play a point guard, never fully recovering from a midseason and confidently playing basketball injury. Games like tonight are why everyone was so excited about him when he was a freshman in high school.
He’s always had this ability to get Vulcan hot from the age of 3 and look like one of the best teenage players on planet earth for stretches. After that outing, he’s been averaging over 20 points per game this season in eastern Michigan, and while he’s come across as a veteran who’s long been in our basketball consciousness due to the hype train and media circus surrounding him He won’t even be 19 by the end of this week.
As for Bates’ future, there’s still a lot to be seen. NBA teams are certainly interested because he is a legitimate 6ft 9 shot maker and shooter. After this game, he’ll be hitting 38 percent of 3, and that depends on shot volume out of the ordinary difficult.
He’s taking wild pull-up jumpers every single game, sometimes from way above the 3-point line, and they’re still falling. Rightly so, this ability gives him a real building block for developing NBA teams. Shooting is valuable in today’s NBA, and he certainly can.
Trouble is, tonight’s result – Bates going solo and his team losing – is a pretty perfect summary of Emoni’s current experience. Everything comes on its terms. He’s a very bad defensive player. He’s got 21 assists in 19 games this year, an incredibly low number for someone who’s gotten his hands on the ball as often as he has. He also doesn’t exactly consistently apply rim pressure as a midfield goalscorer, making a remarkably low 41 percent of his rim attempts in halffield settings.
Eastern Michigan is now 3-16 in games Bates has played this year and this is not a team without talent. Tyson Acuff, Noah Farrakhan and Billingsley have all come down from higher echelons in much the same way as Bates. This way of playing is just not conducive to winning games.
All of which is why I don’t have Bates on my board that close to the first round at the moment. The shooting and scoring is great. He now has to prove that he can do more than fetch buckets. – Vecenie
(Photo: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
https://theathletic.com/4123220/2023/01/24/emoni-bates-29-straight-points/ Emoni Bates scores 29 straight points; The former basketball prodigy ends at 43