The four-star shooting guard picked Kentucky after being released from his national letter of intent with Cal following Cuonzo Martin’s departure. Baker has been back on the market for just over two weeks, but Kentucky moved quickly enough to secure his services ahead of the start of the spring signing period on Wednesday.
"I'm honored and humbled by the experience and greatly appreciate coach Cal believing in my abilities," Baker told Scout.com. "I work extremely hard and to see it paying off means the world to me. I know I'm going to be challenged and pushed every day by the coaching staff and it's something I look forward to. I get to compete with some of the best players on a daily basis."
The 6-3, 185-pound Baker is ranked 119th overall and the 22nd-best shooting guard by 247 Sports. ESPN ranks him 65th overall and the 19th-best shooting guard. Scout.com ranks Baker 87th overall and the 20th-best shooting guard. Rivals.com ranks him 80th overall.
Baker gives Kentucky some much-needed shooting for next year’s team, which loses Malik Monk, De’Aaron Fox, Derek Willis and Dominique Hawkins in that department.
Over the last week, Kentucky has made scholarship offers to Baker, four-star combo guard Mark Smith, and Pittsburgh graduate transfer Cameron Johnson. Smith just wrapped up a visit to Michigan State that has Sparty in the driver’s seat. Johnson is still setting up visits, but Kentucky is viewed as the early favorite in his recruitment.
All three of those guys have a knack for shooting, especially Baker, who became known as an elite shooter on the AAU circuit this past summer. Playing for Earl Watson Elite, Baker scored 16.8 points a game while hitting 41 three-pointers.
"Jemarl is the best shooter in the country," Earl Watson Elite program director Ryan Silver told Scout.com. "He has a relentless work ethic and is a proven winner."
Here are some highlights of the newest Cat in action: