In this age of one-and-done collegiate athletes, it is rare to see really exceptional players stay committed to the college ranks.
For some college basketball players, the allure of a championship run or contention for a national Player of the Year Award is just too overpowering.
Recently, Wichita State sophomore guard Ron Baker announced that he would be returning for his third season with the Shockers in pursuit of college basketball’s most coveted team and individual accolades. Baker was the third leading scorer on the WSU team behind NBA prospect Cleanthony Early and sensational sophomore Fred VanVleet. He was also the team’s sharpshooter as he hit more than 70 three-pointers and connected on big shots in the NCAA Tournament.
Alongside fellow underclassman VanVleet, Wichita State’s backcourt is emerging as one of the best in the nation. In fact, both players were named to the Missouri Valley Conference’s first team and Van Vleet was selected as an AP third team All-American. Both players were vital pieces of the Shockers’ last two tournament runs. This season, Baker has been both a gritty defender and a spark plug on offensive. He is the type of player to make a heady defensive play and follow it up with a deep three-ball in transition.
Baker is a very versatile guard who exerts so much effort that he compensates for his lack of elite athleticism. He is well coached and appears to be very coachable. Baker is one of the players every coach would love to have on his roster. When his skills catch up to his motor and effort, he will be hard to stop.
The Shockers may not have another season as good as 2013-14, but if the underclassmen stay for awhile things look bright in Kansas.