The 2021 Texas basketball recruiting class got even deeper on Aug. 28 by landing a commitment from four-star IMG Academy combo guard Tamar Bates.
The biggest commitment that head coach Shaka Smart was able to land for either the 2020 or 2021 Texas basketball recruiting class since landing the highly coveted five-star hometown Vandegrift power forward Greg Brown just arrived on Aug. 28. Smart and his Texas men’s hoops program landed a commitment from the skilled four-star IMG Academy combo guard Tamar Bates to head into the weekend on a high note.
This 6-foot-4 and 175 pound product out of Bradenton, FL, was a huge get for the Longhorns since it adds the possible headliner to the 2021 class that was much needed heading into the 2020-21 season. Texas’ 2021 class is now four times as big as the 2020 recruiting class was, with just Brown in the mix.
The commitment of Bates was announced on his Twitter timeline on Friday morning.
Number are arriving in bunches for the Longhorns and their 2021 basketball recruiting class in the last couple of months. Texas is now up to four commits in the 2021 class, and that’s a great sign for what’s to come for Smart’s rotation. Texas really needed to add more depth all around in the 2021 class, especially since the lone signee from the 2020 recruiting class was Brown.
Talent is immense with Brown, and he could make an immediate impact in the Longhorns starting five. But there’s no level of talent that can replace the need for a deep rotation in the grueling grind that is the Big 12 basketball conference.
What the Longhorns are getting out of Bates is a very skilled combo guard that could fit into a role similar to that of kind of a hybrid of rising senior Matt Coleman and junior Courtney Ramey. Bates is a very versatile guard that can standout on both ends of the floor. He’s a solid playmaker that runs well in transition and can find his teammates at almost any spot on the offensive end of the floor.
His length, gifted physical tools, and lateral quickness, also makes Bates a potent defender. He does have to continue to work on his ability as an off-ball defender, but that is usual for a rising senior in high school hoops.
The distance shooting and creating ability of Bates really brings something to the table that the Longhorns have desperately needed under the direction of Smart. Outside shooting doesn’t tend to be a major strength of Smart-led offenses on the Forty Acres.
But this might be the spark plug that the Longhorns need to get their offense going. That is unless Texas gets a big boost from the likes of either Coleman or Ramey in the near future. But Coleman’s time in college hoops is likely to be up following the 2020-21 season. Ramey should have one more year left in college at that point.
Moreover, Bates ranks as the nation’s No. 112 2021 high school prospect, No. 8 combo guard, and No. 14 prospect out of Florida (247Sports Composite). He might be one of the most unheralded skilled guards that rank outside of the top 100 high school prospects in the nation.
Bates held 16 other schools on his lengthy offer sheet, outside of his scholarship offer from Texas. The other highlights on his offer sheet included the Alabama Crimson Tide, Creighton Blue Jays, Iowa State Cyclones, Colorado Buffaloes, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Mizzou Tigers, Northwestern Wildcats, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Oregon Ducks, Virginia Tech Hokies, and Wichita State Shockers.
According to the 247Sports Team Composite Rankings, the 2021 Texas hoops recruiting class is now up to No. 17 in the nation, and remains behind the Jayhawks and Baylor Bears at No. 3 in the Big 12. Bates is the highest rated of four commits in Texas’ 2021 class. The next highest rated is three-star underrated Assumption point guard Emarion Ellis.