Emoni Bates leaving Memphis for transfer portal after 1 year

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Emoni Bates, the five-star recruit who reclassified to 2021, has announced he’s entering the transfer portal after one season at Memphis.

Bates announced his decision Saturday on his Instagram account, saying he thanked Memphis coach Penny Hardaway and the rest of his coaching staff for giving him a chance to be a Tiger.

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Emoni Bates # 1 of the Memphis Tigers celebrates with teammates as he comes off the court during the first half against the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the second round of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Moda Center on March 19, 2022 in Portland, Oregon.
(Abbie Parr / Getty Images)

The 6-foot-9 forward has been called a generational talent and projected as the No. 1 overall pick when he becomes eligible for the NBA draft after he turns 19 in 2023. He reclassified to the class of 2021 last August and joined former AAU teammate Jalen Duren at Memphis.

The Tigers earned their first NCAA Tournament berth in eight years with Duren and Bates.

But Bates, from Ypsilanti, Michigan, started only 13 of 18 games and averaged 9.7 points, fifth most for Memphis. Bates played a game against East Carolina on Jan. 27, then did not play again for the Tigers until the NCAA Tournament. He played three minutes against Boise State, then 12 in a loss to Gonzaga.

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