The UCLA basketball team welcomes 5-star standout Will Baker (Westlake/Austin, TX) as the 4th ranked center in the nation takes an official visit to Westwood on Thursday.
Recruiting has been a strength for the UCLA basketball team in recent seasons and it was thought that it might take a hit with head recruiter David Grace leaving the program. Fortunately for head coach Steve Alford, the Bruins continue to recruit at a high level, and it might be even better than before.
UCLA already has three players committed to their 2019 class: 4-star SG Grant Sherfield, 4-star SF Jaime Jaquez and 3-star SG Jake Kyman. If things work out, they might also land one of the top centers in the nation, 6’11, 240 lbs. Will Baker out of Texas.
Baker has been high on the Bruins for a while and according to 247Sports, UCLA has the edge to land him.
Baker is stringy, he is lanky, but that seems to work to his advantage as he is able to easily maneuver around the paint. Think of him as the next Thomas Welsh, but with a little bit more.
Baker has several weapons in his arsenal. When he is down low, he can use his body and strength to create space and make plays. He is a flashy dunker, has a sweet short-range hook and can kick the ball out if he finds nothing in the low post, but that is not all he can do. Baker can pop out for some mid-to-long range shots, making him an offensive threat all over the court
On top of everything else, he has good ball control and can run the floor if needed. This might be going out on a limb, but if Baker makes his way to Westwood, he could become the greatest UCLA center since Kevin Love.
On Thursday, UCLA gets to show Baker all that could be his when he takes his official visit. The Bruins have been working hard to keep recruiting at a high level, and if they land Baker, it will show that they have evolved their recruiting practices. Now to evolve their game play and advancement in the NCAA Tournament. Baker could help with that too.