The goal is simple this year for Gates and his team. After falling just short last year, the 6-foot-6 forward says they want to cut down the nets this season.
"I am trying to get that state championship, nothing less," said Gates. "We didn't win it last year, and we can't let that happen again."
Along with working hard on his game, Gates has also been listening to the recruiting pitch of numerous coaches.
Most recently Gates made a visit to Missouri, but that isn't the only school he has seen in the last year.
"I had already been to Auburn, Alabama, Georgia Tech and Georgia," said Gates. "I went to those schools last year and this summer. I want to go to schools like Florida State, Miami, Virginia, and Cincinnati for sure."
The Missouri trip is actually one that surprised Gates a little bit, and he was very impressed with what he saw.
"When I first got to Missouri I thought it was going to be country, but once I got there and saw the campus it completely changed my mind," said Gates. "I just absolutely loved the atmosphere out there. The fans, players, and coaches were just great and it was a great experience."
Like with Missouri, when Gates went out to Alabama he liked what the Crimson Tide had to offer.
"I've always liked Alabama and it isn't far from home so it would be easy for my parents to see me play," said Gates. "Coach (John) Brannen is the one recruiting me and he and Coach (Anthony) Grant both seem like great guys. Also having been to their practice I know they like to get out and run a lot, and that is the style of play that I like."
While he hasn't yet visited Cincinnati, Gates does know a lot about the program. His cousin is former Bearcat star Yancy Gates.
"It would be cool to follow Yancy," said Gates. "They say that they like bigger wings like myself, and for my cousin to go there is pretty cool. To keep a family tradition would be pretty fun, and my dad is from Dayton, so I would have a lot of family in the area."
Also Gates is hoping to learn more about some of the other schools on his list like Virginia.
"I haven't been up there, but I plan on watching a lot of their games this year," said Gates of the Cavaliers. "It sounds like they like me, they have offered me a scholarship, and they keep trying to get me on campus."
For now the No 23 small forward in the 2015 class is in no hurry to make a college decision, but says he is doing a lot of work to figure out what situation might be best for him.