The Kentucky Wildcats missed the Ultimate Four, however that doesn’t take away from an excellent season. Jon Hale displays on the season.
Dominique Yates, Courier Journal, Louisville Courier Journal
LEXINGTON — Kentucky is about to lose redshirt freshman guard Jemarl Baker to switch.
“I need to thank the Huge Blue Nation for supporting me during my two years at Kentucky,” Baker stated in a press release launched by UK. “You’re really one of the best followers within the nation and I’ve loved my time right here sporting the Blue and White.
“Nevertheless, after speaking with Coach Cal, the employees and my family, I feel it’s in my greatest interest to proceed my educational and basketball career elsewhere. I’ve made life-long relationships with my brothers and the employees at Kentucky and have improved so much as a participant. I’m thankful for the opportunities it’s given me to be part of this historic program.”
Baker averaged 2.three factors and zero.5 rebounds in 9.1 minutes per recreation this season after sitting out the 2017-18 season with a knee damage. Baker performed in 28 of 37 games for Kentucky but noticed his minutes fluctuate extensively down the stretch, not making it off the bench in any respect in the SEC Event loss to Tennessee then enjoying a season-excessive 24 minutes every week later in an NCAA Event win over Abilene Christian.
Jemarl Baker warms up at a March 2019 apply. (Photograph: Matt Stone/Courier Journal)
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The former four-star recruit arrived on campus with a reputation as an elite 3-point shooter but hit only 31.0 percent (13 for 42) from 3 this season. He was frequently pointed to as stronger-than-expected perimeter defender.
“Jemarl is a great player, not only as a shooter, he locks up on defense,” teammate Immanuel Quickley said during the NCAA Tournament. “He’s a really good teammate. He’s my roommate, so he’s even a better person. But what he does for our team is great, and he’s going to continue to do great things for our team.”
Baker, a California native, has acknowledged in interviews being homesick while living so far from home. He also faced competition from a crowded backcourt for minutes next season with freshman point guards Quickley and Ashton Hagans set to return and five-star 2019 guard signee Tyrese Maxey arriving this summer. Kentucky also features three wing players who can play on the perimeter in the 2019 class, including five-star recruits Khalil Whitney and Keion Brooks.
“We haven’t had many players leave us but in all cases we stay in touch and continue to try to help,” Calipari said in the UK news release. “In Jemarl’s case, his injury in his first year and even the early part of this year set him back a little bit, but I still believe he’s an impact player who can score and defend. He’s a better defender than people give him credit for, and we knew we could play him this season in any situation because we knew he was always going to defend. I appreciate everything he did…