The biggest news of the day yesterday was that Kentucky guard Jemarl Baker aims to transfer.
Baker, a redshirt freshman, began to come into his own this year after rehabbing from a knee injury last season. He played in 28 games, averaging nine minutes per game and knocked down 13 three-pointers over the course of the year.
But Baker was able to find minutes due to his improved defense, which became even more evident late into the season.
I believe he could’ve found a role on this team as a guy who could knock down jumpers and defend, especially early on in the season, but Baker is from the west coast and has a close relationship with his father, which almost certainly factored into this decision, as well as Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley and Tyrese Maxey being expected to log a ton of backcourt minutes next year.
Baker could have certainly had a role, but he probably wouldn’t have seen a sizable uptick in minutes, so he could be leaving to find somewhere where he plays an even bigger role.
Nonetheless, it is the continuation of a trend at Kentucky where guys who project to be really good long-term players end up leaving in some form or fashion before realizing their true potential in Lexington.
I’m not sure how this problem is to be fixed, but it is definitely a disappointing trend over the last few years.
Regardless, we wish Jemarl the best of luck on his next chapter.
Tweets of the Day
We hate to see @jemarlbakerjr go, but he has our full support as he seeks a situation that's in his best interest.— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) April 17, 2019
Jemarl was a great teammate who impacted our team the most by buying in on the defensive end. We'll be rooting for you, JB.
➡️ https://t.co/f3cEBY4Wta pic.twitter.com/959t6ziD6t
We wish nothing but the best for Jemarl.
I do hate to see Jemarl Baker go....I think he could have been a really good long term guy at Kentucky— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) April 17, 2019
Unfortunately, Those dudes though (ranked 50-100) just don’t seem to work here
That has been somewhat of a theme. Check out Derek Willis’s reply on that tweet as well.
Three potential factors behind Baker’s transfer - KSR
Homesickness and playing time seem to be the big factors here.
Jemarl Baker is eighth transfer of Calipari era - Herald Leader
For some, it just works out for the better.
John Young sets decision date, breaks down final schools - KSR
Kentucky has a solid position with an announcement less than two weeks out.
Treyveon Longmire talks UK recruitment - Cats Pause
Longmire, a freshman, plays at Corbin High School and is beginning to see his recruitment pick up.
Read this piece on Lonnie Johnson - NFL
Nothing short of spectacular about the former UK cornerback.
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It’s a weird new world when the NFL goes out of its way to promote the Browns.
Ten must watch NFL games - Sports Illustrated
Saints at Rams in Week 2 should be a good one.
David Griffin thinks Anthony Davis could stay with Pelicans - Bleacher Report
Highly unlikely, but crazier things have happened.
DeMarcus Cousins not expected to need surgery, but likely to miss playoffs - Yahoo
Some good news and bad news for Cousins.
Jamal Murray may have saved the Nuggets season - The Ringer
Murray came alive in the fourth quarter to rejuvenate Denver.