Marquette recruiting took an interesting turn on Friday morning when Fox Sports Big East insider Evan Daniels reported that MU head coach Steve Wojciechowski would be visiting California native and top 80 recruit Jemarl Baker on Sunday.
Marquette gets their shot at Jemarl Baker, one of the top available guards, on Sunday. Steve Wojciechowski is scheduled to meet with him.— Evan Daniels (@EvanDaniels) April 7, 2017
Baker, a 6’2”, 165 lb., shooting guard from Los Angeles, CA, is ranked #73 in the Class of 2017 by 247 Sports’ Composite system. ESPN has him at 65th in the country, and they also list him at 6’4”, 180 lb. Rivals lists Baker at #80 in the country, and Scout slots him at #87. He was signed to play for California, but received his release after Cuonzo Martin left Cal to take the Missouri job.
Baker had a long list of possible landing spots after receiving his release, including Maryland, Oregon, Arizona, Duke, and, possibly most importantly, Kentucky. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported that UK head coach John Calipari would be visiting Baker on Friday, so on some level, it’s good news that Baker is keeping his options open even with a visit from the Wildcats.
The recruitment of Baker is a fascinating move from the long term perspective of the MU program. Here’s what MU’s scholarship situation is right now.
As you can see, Marquette has two open scholarships for this coming fall, so that’s not the issue. Where things get interesting is for the fall of 2018, where adding Baker would result in only one open spot next to Brendan Bailey, who is expected to finish his Mormon mission and join Marquette as a freshman. That’s not even that big of a deal, to be honest, and if you can add a top 100 guard to your team immediately, you have to shoot your shot.
It would also allow Steve Wojciechowski and his staff to completely focus on the recruitment of Joey Hauser, the best recruit in the state of Wisconsin in 2018, a top 30 national prospect, and also the younger brother of current MU forward Sam Hauser.
Baker is eligible to sign a new national letter of intent beginning next Wednesday, April 12th, so one way or another, we should have a resolution on this pretty quickly. Keep your eyes and ears open, everyone....