Detroit — Freshman phenom Emoni Bates of Ypsilanti Lincoln has enjoyed the following of a rock star, and he will bring his hype to the Motor City for the first time in a Division 1 state quarterfinal game Tuesday against Detroit King at University of Detroit Mercy's Calihan Hall.
Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m.
Bates — a 6-foot-8 forward who is the top player in the nation in the 2022 class — is averaging 29.2 points and 10.1 rebounds and made the regional at Lincoln his personal playground last week.
Bates scored 26, making 7-of-14 3-pointers, including one with four seconds left for the difference in a 58-55 regional semifinal win over Ann Arbor Skyline.
Then, in an 81-79 regional final win over Detroit Catholic Central, Bates scored 36, including a tip-in as time expired, setting up a mob scene celebration on the court for the second straight game.
More fans would have been in attendance, but 1,000 fans had to be turned away at the doors due to Lincoln’s 2,500-seat capacity.
Calihan Hall seats 8,000, but fans are encouraged to get there early to be assured a ticket.
“What they’ve been able to do is outstanding and, honestly, Bates is the straw that stirs the drink for them, but I don’t know if they’ve seen what we can provide so it will be a great matchup and we’re looking forward to it,” King coach George Ward said. “It’s going to be Calihan Hall back in the mid-‘80s, late ‘70s on Tuesday evening.
"If you try to come buy a ticket at 5 o’clock you pretty much can go on over to Lou’s Deli or something and eat a sandwich, because you’re not getting a ticket.”
More: Boys basketball state tournament: Tuesday’s quarterfinals schedule
Lincoln is 20-4 and ranked No. 17 in The News Super 20. King is 20-4, allowing an average of 43.9 points with no team scoring more than 56 points against them.
No. 3 U-D Jesuit (23-2) will face No. 19 Roseville (20-4) in the second quarterfinal at Calihan, with the two winners moving on to Friday’s Final Four at the Breslin Center on the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing.