Kline/UnderArmour

Joey Baker Embracing Go-To Role

The 2019 forward is averaging 16 points on the Under Armour circuit.

FISHERS, Ind. – Last year Joey Baker played a supporting role on Team Felton's 17U squad. This year he's the go-to guy.

Through two weekends of the Under Armour Association circuit, the class of 2019 forward is among the Top 10 scorers with 16.0 points per game.

"It's been a lot of fun," he said. "Showcasing the work that my team and I have put in since the school season ended."

"I love [being a go-to guy], but it's difficult. When I have a rough game, it hurts my team. Just have to adjust to it. Keep getting used to it. The only way I know how is competing. Competing, trying to win. Trying to make plays. I just have to keep attacking and don't let that bother me."

On a team in which he's the only double-digit scorer - and technically playing a year above his age level - Baker is shooting 48 percent from the floor and 34 percent from three-point range. He is also averaging 4.6 rebounds and more than a block per game.

In his new role, Baker has to create a lot more offense for himself this season. Thus, he said he is working to improve getting lower on both ends of the floor and trying to become a more well-rounded player.

"I'm working on all aspects," said Baker, who is now listed at 6-8. "My skills, ball handling, shooting, defense, getting lower on defense, getting stronger. Staying lower on my defense and on my drives. Getting in a better base, stuff like that."

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams and assistant coach Hubert Davis watched Baker and Team Felton play last Friday night.

Baker said that North Carolina continues to be a part of the recruiting process as he's developing relationships with the coaching staff now that his Tar Heel recruiter, former assistant C.B. McGrath, has left the staff.

"I used to talk to Coach C.B. but he's moved on to UNC-W," Baker said. "But I talked to Roy. I talk to all the coaches when I go on visits."

Baker has made multiple visits to Chapel Hill, including two during this past season.

He also has incoming Tar Heel freshman Jalek Felton around him this spring. Felton, who was the Team Felton headliner last year, traveled with the team for both April weekends. Felton playfully recorded some of Baker's media interviews and took a photo of him as the two former teammates remain friends and often workout together.

Baker doesn't have any visits set for the moment. He noted Florida, Kansas, Louisville and Texas are the most active schools recruiting him. After adding Kansas and Louisville offers following this past weekend, he now has offers from all four aforementioned programs.

http://www.scout.com/player/208073-joey-baker/


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