Memphis freshman Emoni Bates practices with team ahead of NCAA tournament first round game

Bates missed 12 games with a back injury.
Forward Emoni Bates (1) during the Memphis vs. North Carolina Central Men’s Basketball game on...
Forward Emoni Bates (1) during the Memphis vs. North Carolina Central Men’s Basketball game on 11132021.(MS | Matthew A. Smith)
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 7:27 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - As the Tigers began their practice day at Moda Arena ahead of the first round of the NCAA tournament, it was noted Freshman Emoni Bates made the trip with the team and was a full participant at practice.

Bates missed the last 12 games of the season with a back injury that had no timetable for a return. Memphis went 10-2 without Bates on the floor. At the Tigers open practice, Bates was dressed out, got shots up and his jumper looked smooth.He didn’t look like he was restricted at all, able to get to the rim and dunk several times.

Whether or not he returns for the first time in more than a month against Boise State, Penny Hardaway said, “I mean, he hasn’t played, so I don’t know. He’s here and he’s been practicing some, but has never played. Like come back to see how his back feels. This has been going on for like four weeks, five weeks.”

The Tigers tip off in the first round of the NCAA tournament against Boise State, Thursday at 12:45 PM.

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