When small ahead Caleb Houstan determined to stay within the NBA draft earlier this month, Michigan basketball discovered itself in want of a fringe shooter with guards Eli Brooks and DeVante ‘Jones already departed.
Two and a half weeks later, coach Juwan Howard landed his new 3-point menace.
The Wolverines scored a verbal dedication from former Duke wing Joey Baker on Friday, a supply confirmed to the Free Press, as Howard and his workers made their first addition since Houstan and fellow freshman Moussa Diabate opted to remain within the NBA draft and left this system with three open scholarships. The 6-foot-6, 206-pound Baker, who averaged 4.5 factors per recreation and shot 40.5% from 3-point vary final season, will be part of UM as a graduate switch after 4 years with the Blue Devils.
A local of Fayetteville, North Carolina – roughly 90 miles from Duke’s campus – Baker had his selection of elite packages after a standout profession at Trinity Christian Faculty. He was rated the No. 33 general prospect in 247 Sportss composite rankings and held scholarship presents from Kansas, UCLA, Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma State and Florida, amongst others, along with his provide from Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. He dedicated to the Blue Devils as a part of the nation’s No. 1 general recruiting class alongside Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish and Tre Jones – all of whom grew to become NBA draftees.
Baker’s time at Duke was far much less adorned than that of his classmates. He labored his means into the again of Krzyzewski’s rotation for his closing three years after barely seeing the ground as a freshman, however nonetheless his contributions have been restricted. He averaged 5 factors in 12.1 minutes per recreation as a sophomore, 2.9 factors in 11.5 minutes per recreation as a junior and 4.5 factors in 11.9 minutes per recreation as a senior. Of his 89 profession appearances, simply 4 have been begins.
What Baker does convey, nevertheless, is efficiency from 3-point vary. He made 75 of 198 makes an attempt (37.9%) from past the arc over his profession, with a minimum of three 3s in 11 video games. His 40.5% clip and 30 made 3s through the 2021-22 marketing campaign have been each profession highs.
Baker additionally shot 80.9% from the free-throw line on 47 makes an attempt throughout 4 seasons.
Howard and his workers will probably be hoping the expertise Baker flashed as a coveted recruit within the class of 2018 was obscured by Duke’s top-end recruiting reasonably than an incapacity to carry out on the Division I degree. After signing Baker, Krzyzewski’s three subsequent courses from 2019-21 have been rated No. 3, no. 4 and No. 6 nationally.
Baker spent his years at Duke enjoying alongside 4 eventual first-round picks (Williamson, Barrett, Reddish, Jalen Johnson) and three eventual second-round picks (Vernon Carey Jr., Jones, Cassius Stanley). 5 extra of his teammates may very well be drafted Thursday, headlined by potential No. 1 choose Paolo Banchero. Such a ceaseless inflow of expertise made it tough for Baker to discover a spot on the ground.
Baker’s prospects in Ann Arbor needs to be higher, although, even amongst a populous group of wings subsequent season. Houstan and fellow small ahead Terrance Williams II have been the one wings to log important minutes for Howard final yr, and Baker will arrive at Michigan having performed extra video games than anybody on the roster.
His main competitors for minutes will embrace Williams and a handful of gamers with little or no collegiate expertise to their names: junior Jace Howard; redshirt freshmen Will Tschetter and Isaiah Barnes; and true freshmen Jett Howard and Gregg Glenn.
The addition of Baker, together with fellow graduate switch Jaelin Llewellyn, who dedicated to Michigan in April, leaves the Wolverines with one obtainable scholarship for the 2022-23 season. It is unclear if Howard and his workers plan to make use of it or hold it open for recruits and transfers in future courses.
This text initially appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan basketball lands graduate switch Joey Baker from Duke