Bates-Diop, a 6-foot-7 forward, received an offer from Northwestern in late October, and has been following along with the Wildcats' campaign.
The sophomore believes this could be the season Northwestern reaches the NCAA tournament for the first time.
¬¬¬"I think they could do it this year," he said. "They have the capability."
Throughout his recruitment, Bates-Diop has developed a strong relationship with Coach Hardy, who originally extended him the scholarship offer.
"It's a good relationship," said Bates-Diop. "He's a cool guy. I can talk to him about most things—basketball and not basketball."
It's still very early in Bates-Diop's recruitment, so he is taking the process very slowly. At the moment, he is still looking at each school, but is far from naming a favorite. Bates-Diop is looking for a few specific items from the idea school.
"My options are really open because it's early in the process," he said. "(I'm looking for) just a school where I'm comfortable with the coaches and players, a place that I can play, and a good academic school."
Bates-Diop has put together a strong sophomore season for Normal University High School, while helping his team to a 15-3 record.
"It has been going well—individually, and as a team," he said.
Stay with Scout.com and PurpleWildcats.com for continued updates on the sophomore standout.