At 6-foot-7 and roughly 185 pounds, Bates-Diop is the kind of long forward who can be a matchup problem. He is too athletic and skilled for most power forwards and too big for many small forwards. Given his unique ability it has been a good spring.
"I have been more aggressive in all aspects of the game," said Bates-Diop of his spring improvements. "In rebounding, scoring, and defensively, I am just more aggressive this year than last year."
Not surprisingly that development has transitioned into increased recruiting attention from many of the top teams in the Midwest, and the country.
A week ago Bates-Diop visited Illinois and received an offer. He was impressed with what he saw, and liked meeting the new staff.
"The visit was good when I went down there," said Bates-Diop. "I like how close it is to home and the fact that it is a hometown school. Also the new coaching staff is great, and I like the way they play."
Following Illinois, Bates-Diop checked things out at Louisville. As with most prospects, the facilities really stood out.
"The facilities are great," said Bates-Diop of Louisville. "The practice arena is fantastic and the Yum Center is huge. I liked my trip to Louisville a lot."
Next on the visit tour is Purdue. The Boilermakers have had a lot of success recruiting the Illinois Wolves program, and have been after Bates-Diop for quite a while.
"I really like Purdue," he stated. "I am going down there (Wednesday) for a visit. Kendall (Stephens) is going there and Jay (Simpson) will be there next year, so I have some comfort there."
The tour won't end there though, a few days after seeing Purdue, the Michigan Wolverines will get a visit. Michigan won't offer until June 15, but Bates-Diop has been feeling the love from them for quite some time.
"I am having good conversations with them," he said from Michigan. "They are really interested in me, and I am going up to their elite camp this weekend. Afterwards I plan to stay and take a visit tour of the campus."
For now Bates-Diop is just exploring all of his options, but he does have a good idea of what he is looking for in a school.
"The coaching staff and the connection I have with them is important," he said. "Also the playing style, the players that will be on the roster, and also academics are very important to me."
Currently Bates-Diop is viewed as the No. 40 player in the class of 2014.