Texas Basketball: Top 2021 signee Tamar Bates wants release from LOI

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

What was the top commit/signee in the 2021 Texas basketball recruiting class, four-star IMG Academy shooting guard Tamar Bates, is now looking to re-open his recruitment after the departure of the program’s former head coach. The now former Texas sixth-year head coach Shaka Smart bolted from Austin ahead of last weekend to take the same role with the Marquette Golden Eagles.

Following the departure of Smart, the Longhorns were anticipated to lose at least some parts of their 2021 recruiting class. And the first one that looks like he will depart was also the highest-rated signee in the mix following the Early Signing Period last year.

Bates took to his Twitter timeline on the afternoon of March 29 to declare that he would be looking to re-open his recruitment. And he was anticipated to be one of the less likely Texas commits/signees in the 2021 class to stick around heading into the 2021-22 season.

We don’t really know what portion of the Longhorns 2021 class will stick around heading into the offseason. It might be at least a few weeks before Texas athletic director Chris del Conte is able to announce who will be the basketball program’s next head coach. We are still firmly in the midst of the NCAA Tournament, with the Elite 8 taking part early this week.

What to do for the 2021 Texas basketball recruiting class after losing Tamar Bates?

Texas just lost one of their core pieces of the 2021 class. They do still hold commits from three prospects in the 2021 class, with the highest-rated remaining now four-star Assumption combo guard Emarion Ellis.

What the Longhorns are losing in the 6-foot-4 and 175 pound talented shooting guard Bates is the nation’s No. 56 2021 high school prospect, No. 14 shooting guard, and No. 10 prospect out of Florida (247Sports Composite). And the Top247 ranks him as the nation’s No. 61 high school prospect, No. 13 shooting guard, and No. 11 prospect out of Florida.

Texas was one of more than 15 schools that have offered Bates as of the night of March 29. Some of the other notable schools on his offer sheet include the Creighton Blue Jays, Alabama Crimson Tide, Colorado Buffaloes, Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas State Wildcats, Mizzou Tigers, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Oregon Ducks, Virginia Tech Hokies, and Wichita State Shockers.

Since the Longhorns are about to lose so much in their rotation this offseason, missing out on the commitment/signing of Bates is big. Maybe Texas can still win him back in the end, depending on who their next head coach is, but it doesn’t look too likely after his post on Twitter this week.

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According to the 247Sports Team Composite Rankings, the 2021 Texas recruiting class now ranks at No. 36 in the nation and in the third spot in the Big 12 behind Baylor Bears and the Jayhawks. The other two commits remaining outside of Ellis now are four-star power forward David Joplin and three-star big man Keeyan Itejere.