As Duke men's basketball wraps up its season, the Blue Zone gives individual breakdowns of each player's season with comparisons to their pre-season projections. Read the previous player breakdowns here: Mike Buckmire, Patrick Tapé, Jaemyn Brakefield and Henry Coleman III.
- Year: Junior
- Height: 6-foot-6
- Position: Forward
- This year’s stat line: 2.9 PPG, 1.2 RPG, 11.5 MPG
- The Blue Zone’s projected stat line: 5.2 PPG, 1.3 RPG, 14.3 MPG
Season breakdown: Baker played in 23 of Duke's 24 games this season, with his season-high of 22 minutes coming against Boston College in the ACC tournament. Although he made consistent appearances, Baker was not a player that the team was able to count on for consistent shooting: of the 23 games played, Baker went scoreless in nine of them.
The biggest impact Baker made was in an away game against Wake Forest where he scored 12 points on 4-of-7 from three-point range. The Fayetteville, N.C., native also hit 3-of-7 of his three-point shots in the home North Carolina game, finishing the night with 11 points. Besides those two games, Baker did not surpass eight points in any single game.
Baker scored 48 of his 66 total points this season from three-point shooting. Although this is the shot that the sophomore has proven to be more comfortable with, he also regressed in this category this season. In the 2019-20 season, Baker had a 39.4 3-point shooting percentage while his average was 31.4% this year on 20 fewer attempts.
This season may have stumped his upward trajectory, but Baker can use next year for redemption so there can be high expectations for things to come.
Results relative to expectations: Baker averaged 5.0 points per game last season, but his average dipped to 2.9 points per game this year while his minutes went down as well. Even though Baker dropped off in some areas, he did have more total rebounds in five fewer games played, a sign that the junior is still not done developing his game.
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