With nearly all of the top prospects from the Class of 2020 off the board and the Class of 2021 recruiting cycle in a holding pattern due to a prolonged recruiting dead period amid the cancellation of summer showcase events, Emoni Bates' commitment to Michigan State injected some life into the college basketball news cycle Monday.
Right now, the 6-foot-8 small forward is the No. 1 player in the Class of 2022 and is considered one of the best prospects since LeBron James. So it could be more than two years before we seem him suit up for the Spartans — if he does at all. And until he does, there will be conversations lingering about the possibility of him heading to the NBA's G League. But in the meantime, getting a commitment from one of the most-heralded prospects of the last decade is a huge boost for Michigan State, even if the potential on-court dividends are a long way off.
The Spartans were by no means struggling — they tied for the Big Ten's regular season title in 2020 — but landing a player many are calling the best high school player in the country, regardless of class, is a huge boost for a program that won its last national championship before Bates was born.
Here's what Monday's news means for Michigan State: