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John Calipari says Baker could return at the end of the season

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Baker’s looking at a late return at best, Cal says.

UK Athletics

Kentucky won’t be getting four-star freshman guard Jemarl Baker anytime soon, according head coach John Calipari.

Baker, perhaps the team’s best three-point shooter, has been sidelined all season due to knee surgery. Calipari said on his radio call-in show that it’ll be the end of the season at best for Baker to get back on the floor.

“My guess is, at best, would be toward the end of the year,” Calipari said of Baker’s return timeline. “And then at that point it’s how much work can you get in to be prepared to play in these games if you haven’t played the whole year.”

Calipari would obviously love to have Baker, if nothing more than as bench depth, but he’s not going to allow an injured player to return before the time is right.

“But you know he’s in practice every day and I’m seeing him all the time. He was on our trip and all those things. But it’s hard, hard for him to have to sit there and know that with the numbers we have he’d have a chance to be playing and putting up shots and doing things that he does well.

“And we could use him, but again they have to go through that process.”

Kentucky’s 3-point shooting has struggled without Jarred Vanderbilt and Jemarl Baker, but more so Baker, as he’s know as the more prolific shooter.

The Cats are shooting just 34.7 percent from deep this year. Baker would help from the free throw line as well, where UK currently shoots just 68 percent.