Three days after being released from his letter of intent at Texas, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) shooting guard Tamar Bates has compiled an impressive list of new college suitors.
Bates backed out of heading to Austin when Shaka Smart left to take the head coaching job at Marquette.
“For me it was pretty simple,” Bates said. “I committed to Coach Smart, not Texas. So when he left I knew I would have to look at my options.”
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So far, Bates has heard from Marquette, Gonzaga, Illinois, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and Washington.
Bates learned of former Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard’s hire at Texas just after he and the Ascenders’ 73-68 win over Milton (Ga.) in the GEICO Nationals quarterfinals on Thursday.
When asked if he would reconsider the Longhorns if Beard and his staff were to reach out, Beard said, “Yes."
“I’m open to that,” Bates said. “I am open to talking to them, so if they reach out, we would see from there.”
For now, Bates said his sole focus is on defending the Ascenders’ national title.
IMG won GEICO Nationals in 2019; the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year.
IMG will face Sunrise Christian (Bel Aire, Kan.) Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2) in the semifinals.
“We’re still the defending national champs so we have to focus everything on wining again,” Bates said. “I’m putting recruiting on the backburner right now, so I’ll get back to that next week. I have another big decision to make with that, but for now it’s all about GEICO.”