In the months leading up to the 2021-’22 college basketball season, BTPowerhouse will be releasing a series called the ‘BTPowerhouse 25,’ which features the Top 25 players in the Big Ten as voted by members of the staff. All players set to be on Big Ten rosters for next season were eligible during the staff vote with their top selection receiving 25 points and their 25th and final selection receiving 1 point.
Today's edition will take a brief look at Geo Baker of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, who came in at No. 8 in the rankings. The Scarlet Knights are hoping to build off last year’s NCAA Tournament this season and get back in the top 25 picture.
'BTPowerhouse 25' - No. 8 Geo Baker:
- Eligibility: Redshirt Senior
- Career Totals: 117 games, 3,688 minutes, 1,300 points, 330 rebounds, 388 assists, 147 steals
- 2020-’21 Averages: 31.2 MPG, 10.4 PPG, 3.2 APG, 3.1 RPG, 1.2 SPG
- Positional Role: Point Guard
After five years of rebuilding, Steve Pikiell and the Scarlet Knights finally broke through last year, making the NCAA Tournament and putting together a 16-12 resume and Harper was a big part of that success. The team now returns most of last year’s roster and will be hoping to keep things rolling with Baker leading things on the wing.
Baker is a solid defender and one of the best passers for the Scarlet Knights over the last few years. He had a top 20 assist rate last season and was a key piece in Rutgers’ top 10 ranked defense.
It’s also important to note what Baker does off the court as well. He’s a team leader and one of the core pieces that got Rutgers back to national relevance. Having a player like that on a roster is huge, especially as the program hopes to integrate younger players into the rotation.
-Areas for Improvement
Like a good hunk of the players on this list, Baker is at the point of his career where “he is what he is.” Yes, there is some improvement to be had, but he’s probably going to be roughly the same player we’ve seen the last few years. He’s now an upperclassmen who’s played plenty of minutes so far. We know the player we’re getting.
If Baker can improve, the best area to do it will be from deep. He remains an underwhelming shooter and only shot 30.3 percent from three last season. Baker could also improve his efficiency overall, as his offensive rating dropped below 100 last season for the second time in his career. Taking better shots should be a priority.
While Rutgers isn’t getting quite as much hype this season as it did last year, the Scarlet Knights figure to be a feisty team in contention for another postseason bid. A big part of that effort will come from Baker, who should be one of the team’s key offensive options yet again. He and Ron Harper will lead the way.
Baker will likely put up numbers similar to what he’s done over the last few years. Expect him and Harper to dominate the team’s offensive production. If all goes well, he should be in contention to receive some All-Big Ten attention.
'BTPowerhouse 25' Rankings:
- #26-27 - Players That Just Missed The Cut
- #25 - Moussa Diabate (Michigan)
- #24 - Donta Scott (Maryland)
- #22 - Justice Sueing (Ohio State)
- #22 - Max Christie (Michigan State)
- #20 - Miller Kopp (Indiana)
- #20 - Connor McCaffery (Iowa)
- #19 - Zach Edey (Purdue)
- #18 - Tyson Walker (Michigan State)
- #17 - Eli Brooks (Michigan)
- #16 - Keegan Murray (Iowa)
- #14 - Kyle Young (Ohio State)
- #14 - Andre Curbelo (Illinois)
- #12 - Caleb Houstan (Michigan)
- #12 - Trent Frazier (Illinois)
- #11 - Ron Harper (Rutgers)
- #10 - DeVante’ Jones (Michigan)
- #9 - Eric Ayala (Maryland)
- #8 - Geo Baker (Rutgers)
- #7 - To Be Continued ...