Juwan Howard and the Michigan Wolverines have added a little bit of three-point shooting and a dash of veteran leadership to next year’s group, as former Duke Blue Devils shooting guard Joey Baker committed to Michigan, as first reported by Jason Jordan.
BREAKING: Former #Duke wing Joey Baker will transfer to #Michigan for next season.— Jason Jordan (@JasonJordanSI) June 17, 2022
1 year of eligibility as a grad transfer.
- Felt it provided the best opportunity to make an impact on a championship caliber team.
- Felt Coach Howard could maximize his total game.
Baker appeared in 89 games in four seasons with the Blue Devils. Last season in 11.9 minutes per game, he averaged 4.5 points and 1.2 rebounds per game, making 43.2% of his field goals, 40.5% of his threes and 77.8% of his free throws.
While he only attempted 1.3 threes per game, that three-point percentage is huge for a Michigan squad in desperate need of three-point shooting, especially after losing Caleb Houstan to the NBA Draft. Last year’s team was ranked 172nd in three-point field goal percentage among DI NCAA teams.
What was a young team last season will be even younger this year, and after losing Eli Brooks, DeVante’ Jones and Frankie Collins, Michigan was in desperate need of depth at the guard spot. Hopefully Baker can emerge as a leader on this team. It’s never bad to have guards with a lot of college basketball experience and with Baker and Princeton transfer Jaelin Llewellyn, Michigan now has a backcourt with 164 combined college basketball games under their belt.
It’s unclear where Baker fits in the rotation for the time being; Llewellyn will likely start at the point and I’d expect Baker, Kobe Bufkin and Jett Howard to all spend time sharing the backcourt with him.
Baker isn’t the most talented player in the world, but this is the fourth senior guard Howard has been able to land via the transfer portal, the first three being Mike Smith, Jones and Llewellyn.
Say what you want about his coaching style, but Howard has a knack for convincing talented players to come to Ann Arbor. Baker adds shooting and experience to a young roster that should be a lot of fun to watch next season.