Former 4-Star Recruit Jemarl Baker Reportedly to Transfer from Kentucky

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2019

Kentucky's Jemarl Baker Jr. moves the ball against Wofford during the second half of the second round of a men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., Saturday, March 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

Redshirt freshman guard Jemarl Baker Jr. will transfer from Kentucky, according to Stadium's Jeff Goodman.

Evan Daniels of 247Sports confirmed the report.

According to The Athletic's Kyle Tucker, this decision is something that has been in the works for months:

A 4-star recruit coming out of Eleanor Roosevelt (California) High School, Baker was part of what 247Sports rated as the No. 2 recruiting class in 2017.

However, the 6'4", 192-pound guard's time in Lexington has been plagued by injury.

Baker missed the entire 2017-18 season after undergoing knee surgery in October 2017. That procedure came after he went under the knife prior to his enrollment at Kentucky in an effort to fix a meniscus injury.

He was sidelined for the first month of this past season before ultimately making his Wildcats debut on Dec. 8, 2018, his team's ninth game of the season.

He appeared in 28 games in 2018-19, averaging 2.3 points on 32.8 percent shooting while logging 9.1 minutes per game. After arriving at Kentucky with the reputation of a three-point specialist, he made just 31 percent of his three-point attempts in his lone season with the Wildcats.

While some highly touted recruits may focus on individual stats, Baker has made it clear he is a team player.

"Whatever I can do to help my team win, however I can, whether I play four minutes or 15, I'm going to do it," Baker told Tucker earlier this year. "Just like my dad taught me."

Baker admitted to Tucker that he still felt rusty entering February as he continued to work his way back into playing shape following his injury.

It's not clear what schools Baker will consider as he explores his transfer options. It's important to note, though, that Tucker and Jon Hale of the Louisville Courier Journal wrote that the California native has let it be known he has felt homesick while at Kentucky.

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