Sport: What does Jemarl Baker add to Arizona? - PressFrom - US

SportWhat does Jemarl Baker add to Arizona?

20:35  15 may  2019
20:35  15 may  2019 Source:

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Jamarl Baker can really shoot from deep He's been In The Lab! Excited to see how his shooting will help at CAL next season. Post By: George Nguyen

Latest on Kentucky Wildcats guard Jemarl Baker Jr. including news, stats, videos, highlights and more on ESPN. No teams in your favorites yet. Add some for quick access!

What does Jemarl Baker add to Arizona?© Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats made a long-term investment Tuesday when they landed Kentucky transfer Jemarl Baker Jr.

The 6-foot-4 sophomore will have to sit out the 2019-20 season before having two years of eligibility at the UA. (Baker already burned his redshirt year in 2017-18 when he was recovering from knee surgery.)

Baker averaged 2.3 points per game this past season in a limited role. What can we expect him to add to Arizona? Let’s take a look.


While Baker’s shooting percentages at Kentucky were nothing special—33 percent from the field, 31 percent from 3—he was regarded as one of the top marksmen in the country when he was the No. 37 recruit in the 2017 class.

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Kentucky Transfer Jemarl Baker Jr. Commits to Arizona Sports Illustrated01:37. Kentucky transfer guard Jemarl Baker headed to Arizona Goazcats.com01:23.

Baker hit 94 3s in his senior season at Roosevelt High School in Southern California.

It’s too early to know what Arizona’s roster will look like when Baker is eligible to play, but every team needs quality shooters and Baker can be that—and then some.

Aside from Allonzo Trier, the Wildcats have not had great shooters on the wings in recent seasons. And 2017-18 just so happened to be Arizona’s worst 3-point shooting season ever under Sean Miller (33.6%).

Perimeter defense. Maybe.

While Baker is most known for his jumper, it isn’t the only thing he is capable of.

“He can handle the ball,” Kentucky forward Nick Richards told the Courier Journal. “He uses his IQ better, he takes pride on defense, he doesn’t really let anybody go by him.”

“That’s one that surprised me,” added forward EJ Montgomery. “He’s very fast and he locks up on defense.”

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MBB: Horse with the Cats - Jemarl Baker - Продолжительность: 6:50 Kentucky Wildcats TV 31 969 просмотров. HOW DOES The Oak Hill Show Respond!? Arizona Basketball lands No. 1 class of 2017 recruit - Продолжительность: 1:49 KGUN9 11 724 просмотра.

Here are full highlights of one of the top shooting guards in the nation, Jemarl Baker . The Roosevelt high school senior impressed us with his sharp shooting at the 2016 Tarkanian Classic and his form and quick release reminded us of former NBA all-star, Ray Allen. What do you all think?

Baker had one of Kentucky’s top lane agility and 3/4-court sprint times when he took part in the team’s pro day last October.

That kind of athleticism was on display in the NCAA Tournament when he helped hold Wofford leading scorer Fletcher Magee to eight points on 17 shots, 12 points below his season average. (Baker had eight points in that game, by the way.)

Baker also has some length, checking in with a 6-foot-7 wingspan, good enough to play the 1, 2, and 3.

Other metrics aren’t so kind. Baker was last on Kentucky in defensive box plus/minus (0.6) and defensive rating (103.5) this past season.

In other words, he has intriguing qualities on that end of the floor but also a lot to prove. Getting a year to marinate in Arizona’s system could be a big benefit.

As for Baker’s distributing ability, his turnover rate (16.4) was double his assist rate (8.2), so it’s suffice to say that is not his strength.

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Could Jemarl Baker come in and fill both of those roles Green is leaving? Three-point shooting is Baker has also been around for just as long as Green was. He obviously did not play a role on the Will the three freshmen guards carry the load? Or will Jemarl Baker get his opportunity to prove that

There is plenty of time for that class to mold into something special, but it would not be surprising if all the speculation that has surrounded Miller lately impedes his ability to piece together another elite class.

Then again, adding Baker goes against that notion since he is evidently comfortable with making what is basically a two-year commitment to Arizona.

Either way, Baker serves a buffer in case the Wildcats cannot add the kind of high-school talent to which they are accustomed.

Assuming Nico Mannion and Josh Green are one-and-dones, Arizona will need to revamp its backcourt in 2020-21, and Baker, already having a year in the system by then, should be in good shape to take on a big role.

A roster crunch

Adding Baker puts Arizona at 15 scholarship players for the 2019-20 season, two above the 13-limit, assuming Jake DesJardins will revert to being a walk-on.

That means at least a couple players will be leaving the program (i.e. Dylan Smith) or not arriving as originally planned (i.e. Terry Armstrong Jr.).

Our Brian Pedersen had a good breakdown of the situation here.

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