Indiana might have discovered a gem late within the 2021 recruiting cycle with the addition of taking pictures guard Tamar Bates.
Bates was initially dedicated to play for Shaka Good at Texas however reopened his recruitment in late March after Good left for Marquette. Shortly after, newly employed Indiana head coach Mike Woodson reached out to precise curiosity. Even earlier than they linked, Bates was already well-aware of Woodson’s previous within the NBA.
“I knew how vital he was to basketball,” Bates informed Contained in the Corridor. “It was type of loopy listening to him having a lot great things to say about me.”
Over the following few weeks, Bates grew relationships with all three assistant coaches at Indiana. Throughout that point, Woodson made it clear that their relationship would prolong previous Bates’ enjoying days. Nevertheless it was Woodson’s honesty that resonated most.
“They didn’t make any guarantees, which is what stood out to me and my household,” Bates stated. “I’ve by no means had issues handed to me. I’ve been able to work for every part. Simply being straight ahead, that’s what stood out to me.”
On April 19, Bates dedicated to Indiana, becoming a member of Logan Duncomb in Indiana’s 2021 freshman class. On the time, Bates was the No. 56 participant and No. 13 taking pictures guard within the nation. However since, his inventory has risen. He’s now as much as No. 27 total and not too long ago earned a five-star score.
Earlier in his highschool profession, although, Bates was usually ignored. He was coming off of a junior marketing campaign averaging 22.1 factors, 5 rebounds and 4.1 assists at Piper Excessive Faculty in Kansas Metropolis, however wasn’t even ranked within the prime 100 gamers nationally, in accordance with 247Sports.
Forward of his senior season, Bates transferred to IMG Academy, the place head coach Sean McAloon instantly realized that Bates, who had already dedicated to Texas, was flying beneath the radar nationally.
Within the preseason, Bates confirmed out in an occasion on ESPN, going toe-to-toe in opposition to powerhouse Montverde Academy. Through the common season, in opposition to a number of the prime competitors within the nation, Bates averaged 11 factors, 2.5 assists, three rebounds and 1.2 steals per sport, whereas taking pictures 50 p.c from the sphere and 39 p.c from three.
In lower than a 12 months at IMG program, Bates already gained belief from his teammates and coaches. If his friends weren’t doing their job, he held them accountable. When IMG held open gyms round 7 a.m., Bates was there.
“He was one of many first ones like ‘Yep, no drawback, I’ll be there,’” McAloon stated.
At the same time as Bates started to be a magnet for extra nationwide media all through the season, he maintained the identical underdog mentality.
“That’s a part of the explanation that I play as laborious as I do,” Bates stated. “I prefer it that manner. Once I carry out the way in which that I do, on account of the work I put in, it’s not a shock to me.”
Now, Bates will arrive in Bloomington with an opportunity to make a right away influence. He’s, nevertheless, getting into a crowded group of guards. He’ll be competing for enjoying time with Anthony Leal, Trey Galloway and Parker Stewart at a wing place, plus Khristian Lander, Rob Phinisee and Xavier Johnson if Woodson decides to make use of them off of the ball.
What Bates brings to the ground is a dynamic talent set that interprets to the fashionable sport. Standing 6-feet 4-inches tall with size, Bates boasts good dimension for a wing, enabling him to be efficient on the defensive finish. He nonetheless has loads of potential to fill out his body with Clif Marshall.
Most significantly, although, Bates has the flexibility to assist Indiana’s inconsistent taking pictures from the previous few seasons. As a junior in highschool, he shot 44 p.c from deep. However Bates may deal with the ball and end on the rim, making him an almost excellent match for Woodson’s spread-out offensive system.
“He’s a very good three-level participant,” McAloon stated. “He can shoot the three, he can hit the midrange, he can get to the rim, he shoots free throws properly. So undoubtedly a troublesome guard.”
Indiana assistant coach Dane Fife, who hasn’t watched Bates as a lot as McAloon, likened his sport to 2 former Hoosiers.
“I feel that he’s a bit of little bit of a wildcard in a great way,” Fife informed Contained in the Corridor. “He can do a number of good issues. Perhaps evaluate him to a bit of little bit of (Armaan) Franklin, a bit of little bit of Al Durham all into one.”
Bates will undoubtedly have an opportunity to earn main minutes in his freshman season and even compete for a spot within the beginning lineup. There’s all the time an adjustment for freshmen as they transition to the faculty sport, however Bates has all the traits, each bodily and intangible, to thrive early in his profession.