South Florida Is The Team To Beat
Orlando (FL) Maynard Evans PF Yusuf Baker made a statement that needed to make this summer. Last year, he had knee surgery and spent most of his junior year rehabbing. One always wonders just how effective a player will be once he comes back from injury. At the 2001 Nike Camp, Baker emphatically answered those questions.
He stood out among the interior players because he rebounded with authority and got off the ground with explosion. The question was answered: Yusuf Baker is back.
"I just had to show people that I didn't lose it and I had to come back and play strong since I hadn't played all year," Baker said. "I wanted to show that I was still capable of playing the way I did before I got hurt."
Baker said he's interested in South Florida and Florida, though the Gators have not offered. On the other hand, USF never wavered in its commitment to him. "They were still there when I was hurt and they never backed off me. They stayed with me until I got better. They were always there." And for their loyalty, it looks like the Bulls are the team to beat.
Baker hasn't put out a firm date as to when he may decide, but he has an idea. "Probably when I got back to school. I'll decide probably in the next couple weeks."
He'll take the SAT in September but he's still working on his game and has noticed some changes. "On some things I am better [than before the injury]; in different areas I am better. Shot blocking is better and I'm quicker off my feet."