Five-star big man Will Baker updates status with major powers
Will Baker, the No.-11 ranked prospect in the 2019 Rivals150, has had a terrific junior season, as he’s averaged roughly 20 points and nine rebounds per game. The 6-foot-11, 235-pound center now has Austin (Texas) Westlake competing for a state championship this week after winning its region this past weekend.
His recruitment is at an all-time high now, as well. Some of the top programs in the nation have joined the mix since last summer, including Virginia, Kansas, Texas A&M, UCLA, North Carolina, Texas, Stanford and Baylor. Texas and Texas A&M have both had him on campus for games this season.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
Virginia: “We’ve been talking for a while. I really like their program a lot. It seems like a good family environment. They are doing really well this year.”
Texas: “I like Coach [Shaka] Smart and Coach [Darrin] Horn. I have a pretty good relationship with them. I grew up watching them. They have a top film school, which is something I’m interested in.”
Texas A&M: “I went to go see them play against Kentucky. I really like Coach [Billy] Kennedy and Coach Amir [Abdur-Rahim]. I like Darby Rich, their strength and conditioning coach. I trust them. I think if I went there, I would have a pretty big role my freshman year.”
North Carolina: “I really like them, too. I haven’t talked to them as much as some of the other schools, but Coach [Roy] Williams and Coach [Steve] Robinson came down for one of my games and I really like them. I’m just growing my relationship with them.”
UCLA: “When I visited UCLA, I went to visit the film school and I got to look around their facilities there. They are one of the top film programs in the nation.”
Stanford: “Academics is just as important as basketball. It’s an awesome option, as far as the academics they have there.”
Since Baker has grown up in Austin, it makes sense that Shaka Smart has the Longhorns in deep with Baker. The five-star prospect wants to major in film, which is a strong point for Texas. But the Longhorns will face stiff competition while trying to earn a commitment from him, potentially even from in-state rival Texas A&M. The Aggies' coaching staff made a strong impression on him during his trip to College Station this season.