Mike Woodson, the college basketball coach famous for being unbelievably old and totally unable to recruit, has a top-30 prospect joining his Indiana basketball program this fall.
That’s because Tamar Bates, the four-star guard who committed to Woodson last month, saw a major rise in 247 Sports’ final rankings for the 2021 recruiting class, jumping from No. 60 to No. 26 in the scouting service’s end-of-cycle assessments. 247 analyst Eric Bossi writes:
Affectionately known as “Scoop”, Bates is a 6-foot-5 two guard with wiry strength, scoring ability from deep and ability to get to the rim. Playing for a program filled with ranked players, Bates was often the best player on the floor and there is never any question about whether or not he’s going to show up ready to compete. He’s high energy all of the time and will undoubtedly be a fan favorite in Bloomington.
247 Sports designated the top 25 recruits as five-star players, so Bates just missed that honor by a tick. He’s also the fifth-highest ranked recruit heading to the Big Ten next season, and his 0.9867 individual rating from 247 is the 11th-best among IU players in the recruiting rankings era. Khristian Lander (0.9910) ranks ninth and Trayce Jackson-Davis (0.9890) ranks 10th.
ESPN considers Bates the No. 23 player in the class, while Rivals ranks him at No. 57. Rivals, however, has not finalized its rankings for the class.
A former Texas signee, Bates sought a release from his agreement with the Longhorns in late March when former UT coach Shaka Smart left the school to take the vacant job at Marquette. At the time of his commitment to Texas last August, the 6-foot-5, 180-pound Kansas native held offers from Alabama, Creighton, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri and Oregon, among others.
At IMG Academy last season, Bates averaged 11.4 points and shot 40% from 3-point range. Before heading to the prep powerhouse in Bradenton, Fla., Bates was recognized as the 2020 Kansas All-Classes Player of the Year.
“Tamar is a tremendous young man who will bring so much to our program,” Woodson said about Bates after his signing last month. “I think the first thing that stands out to me is that he is a winner. He brings a high level of energy on the court and is regarded as an unselfish teammate. He is an outstanding defender who makes 3-pointers at a high percentage, can attack the rim, has great vision and the awareness to make plays for others.”
Bates is part of a two-man recruiting class that also includes four-star forward Logan Duncomb. Pitt point guard transfer Xavier Johnson and former Northwestern forward Miller Kopp are also among the incoming players set to join the program next season.