Posted On: 11/8/18 11:05 PM
Will Baker is staying home! The Austin Native who is the star big man for Westlake High School/Texas Hardwork decided to stay home and further his education and basketball career at the University of Texas. His final list included Georgetown, Stanford and UCLA (who cracked the final two). Will is now the third five-star center Head Coach Shaka Smart has landed in the past four years (Jarrett Allen and Mo Bamba). However, his game is not similar to the past one and done first rounders.
Scout’s Take: The Longhorns are getting one of the best big men in the country. He has drastically improved since coming onto the scene as a four-star sophomore. The seven footer has the chance to be the most skilled inside-out big man in the Big XII. He has a polished game on the low block consisting of a variety moves with his best being the faceup or turnaround jumper in the mid range. He gets off the floor well and can finish above or around the rim with his soft touch inside. The five-star big man also can space the floor at the next level. He has deep range and a pretty stroke on his jumpshot. He reminds me of a young Darko Milicic (second pick in the 2003 NBA Draft) in how he can keep defenses honest from the perimeter to the point where he can attack, put the ball on the floor and score. Baker must continue to get stronger and improve his motor to play physical and compete in a tough conference. He tends to not crash the boards as much as one would desire.
Shaka Smart and staff definitely got their guy. Now it is on the program as a whole to produce wins on the court. Will can now focus on his senior year and look to make a return back to San Antonio this season after losing last year to the eventual state champion Allen Eagles. He was a part of a loaded starting line-up with St. Edward’s point guard Luke Pluymen, Xavier shooting guard Keonte Kennedy, Baylor small forward Matthew Mayer, and future college teammate Brock Cunningham. This year the focus will be on him and with help from senior forward and future SMU signee Darius McBride along with four-star power forward K.J. Adams, the Chaparrals of Westlake have a great chance to make another trip back to the state tournament.
(featured image credits to @TiptonEdits)