Emoni Bates scores 30 in Eastern Michigan’s loss to No. 22 Michigan

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DETROIT (AP) – Emony Bates showed flashes of his promise, scoring 17 of his 30 points to help Eastern Michigan lead No. 22 Michigan at halftime.

The former basketball prodigy and his new teammates eventually lost.

Hunter Dickinson scored 31 points, Terrence Williams scored 18, and Jaelyn Llewellyn added 12 points to lift the Wolverine to an 88–83 victory over the Eagles on Friday night.

The Wolverines (2-0) took the lead due to Llewellyn’s layup with 2:49 left in the game with 17 lead changes and 11 ties.

The Eagles (1-1) led 45-40 at halftime and had an eight-point lead early in the second half, but ended up losing their 22nd straight game against a ranked opponent.

However, Bates was the main theme of the evening.

Eastern Michigan coach Stan Heath didn’t play Bates in the team’s season-opening game Monday, and the former Michigan State aide didn’t say why he sat on the sophomore who transferred from Memphis last summer.

Bates was reinstated to the team last month after prosecutors agreed to drop felony charges against him after police said they found a badging gun in the car he was driving. Defense attorney Steve Haney said the car and gun did not belong to Bates.

“It was a struggle for him when he wasn’t with the team,” Heath said. “When he came back and talked to the team, the coaches left. I can just tell you that he appreciates the opportunity to come home and play with many teammates he has known for many years.

“What people see is hype, but he’s an 18-year-old who works very hard to become an elite basketball player.”

Two years ago, the 6-foot-10 guard became the first high school sophomore to win the 2020 Gatorade National Player of the Year award. He defeated future NBA standouts Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley for this award.

“They started comparing him to Kevin Durant, which is hard for any young man,” recalled Michigan coach Juvan Howard.

Howard said that Bates’ skills reminded him of what he sees in the NBA.

“This young man has a chance to achieve something special in basketball,” Howard said.

Bates was not available to the media before or after the game, and Heath said it could be weeks before he was interviewed by reporters.

His 17 points in the first half equaled Memphis’ season-high one year ago. Bates finished 12 of 19, including 3 of 6 from beyond the arc, entertaining fans, including the famed Wolverine, at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena.

“Wow,” said former NBA and Michigan player Glen Rice. “I’m rooting for him.”

Clearly, the NBA is also watching.

“Half the league had someone in one of our practices to see him,” Heath said.

THE BIG PICTURE

Eastern Michigan: Bates makes the Mid-America team intriguing. He is one of six players, including four transfers, that the Heat did not have on the court last season in his managerial debut at his alma mater.

“Eastern Michigan basketball is going to be very good this year,” Heath said.

Michigan: Outdoor shooting has been a weak point – missed 16 out of 21 attempts – and the Wolverines will have to improve as teams have to bolster their defenses to limit Dickinson.

Auxiliary composition

Bates has help, including from defenseman Noah Farrakhan, who had 19 points, and Tyson Acuff, who had 10 points.

“(Bates) understands that he doesn’t have to do it himself, but when he has opportunities, he should take them,” Heath said.

NEXT

Eastern Michigan: Playing the Bradley on Tuesday night.

Michigan: Playing in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night in New York.

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More AP Collegiate Basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college basketball as well as https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll as well as https://twitter.com/AP_Top25




Source: sports.yahoo.com