Fresno State Basketball

Bulldogs have a shot at this Kentucky basketball transfer. He’s on an official visit

Kentucky Wildcats guard Jemarl Baker Jr. (13) shot for thee over Auburn Tigers guard Jared Harper (1) during their game Saturday at Rupp Arena in Lexington. Kentucky beat Auburn 80-53.
Kentucky Wildcats guard Jemarl Baker Jr. (13) shot for thee over Auburn Tigers guard Jared Harper (1) during their game Saturday at Rupp Arena in Lexington. Kentucky beat Auburn 80-53. aslitz@herald-leader.com

Kentucky transfer Jemarl Baker Jr., a 6-foot-4 guard who was considered one of the elite 3-point shooters and a Top 100 prospect in the Class of 2017, is on an official visit to Fresno State, according to athletic department sources.

Baker played in 28 games as a redshirt freshman in 2018-19 and averaged 2.3 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.4 assists while playing 9.1 minutes per game. He was on the floor for 14, 24 and 18 minutes in the Wildcats’ first three NCAA Tournament games, but only eight in a victory over Houston in the Sweet 16 and four in a loss to Auburn in the Elite Eight

The Los Angeles native sat out his first season at Kentucky due to a knee injury.

Baker would be a significant addition for Bulldogs coach Justin Hutson, who went 23-9 in his first season and is elevating the talent in the program with a combination of high school recruits and Division I transfers. Hutson has signed transfers Chris Seeley (Utah) and Jordan Campbell (Oregon State) along with Daryl Edwards (LSU) as a graduate transfer.

Baker is also making official visits to Arizona, Arizona State, Marquette and San Diego State.

“We haven’t had many players leave us but in all cases we stay in touch and continue to try to help,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said last month in a release announcing Baker’s transfer plans. “In Jemarl’s case, his injury in his first year and even the early part of this year set him back a little bit, but I still believe he’s an impact player who can score and defend.

“He’s a better defender than people give him credit for, and we knew we could play him this season in any situation because we knew he was always going to defend. I appreciate everything he did for this program. Like any kid that leaves us, I’ll be watching his career from afar. We’ll always be here for him.”

  Comments