Michigan Basketball: Breaking down the addition of Joey Baker

Michigan basketball has dipped their toes into the transfer portal once again, this time reeling in Duke grad transfer Joey Baker.

Baker spent the past four seasons at Duke and gets an extra year because of COVID.

Joey entered the portal in May, one month after he decided to take advantage of the extra year of COVID eligibility. He took visits to George Washington, Georgia, and Michigan basketball before making his final decision today.

What Baker’s addition means for Michigan basketball

Joey Baker didn’t really play that much at Duke. He appeared in four games as a freshman, before grinding his way to a reserve role in Duke’s rotation as a sophomore. He’s played on 85 games with four starts in the past three years.

Last year, Joey averaged 4.5 points and 1.2 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per game and was a co-captain for Duke’s Final Four squad last year.

Baker is known for his 3-point shooting, an area that Michigan basketball sorely lacked last year, as Eli Brooks and Caleb Houstan, and DeVante Jones, Michigan’s best shooters from last year, are no longer on the team.

Baker should be able to help fill that void, as he has the ability to come off the bench as a potential 6th or 7th man, or has the upside to be a starting-caliber guard, therefore allowing Kobe Bufkin to settle into his role instead of being forced to start at SG.

Joey Baker made 30-of-74 (41%) of his 3-pointers in his time at Duke and is a career 38% 3-point shooter, so he should add much-needed spacing to Michigan’s squad and raises their ceiling for the 2022-23 season.

It’s funny that Juwan Howard secured a commitment from Duke, as he obviously played against Duke back in the 90s and although Duke and Michigan haven’t played each other in a long time, they are still considered rivals. This commitment just makes it all the sweeter.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Juwan promised Joey a starting spot or at least significant playing time immediately because Joey was a former top-40 recruit for a reason, and has the potential to have a breakout year.

With this commitment, Michigan has one open scholarship remaining, which could be reserved for somebody like Emoni Bates. Maybe? Who knows?