Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
By Zach Smart
The Quinnipiac men’s basketball took steps towards elevating their program this off-season, signing two top-profile recruits—from the same family.
Jeremy and Evann Baker come to Quinnipiac as part of a revitalized recruiting class. Tom Moore, who served as UConn’s associate head coach these past two seasons, sold the two Washington, D.C. natives on a program looking to make its presence felt after dismissing head coach Joe DeSantis—who registered just two winning seasons since Quinnipiac was elevated to the Division-I ranks during the 1998-1999 season.
The men’s team was recently featured on Sportsillustrated.com, in college basketball columnist Luke Winn’s story, “Building Up The Q.”
Jeremy Baker, a 6-foot-2 junior, is a transfer via Garden City Community College (Kan.). The older brother garnered an All-Conference first team selection in the Jayhawk Community College Conference while emerging as a JUCO All-American honorable mention.
The book on Jeremy is an easy read. An electric playmaker and a lockdown defender, Baker will be called upon to hold some of the Northeast Conference’s premier scorers in check this season.
Evann Baker, a freshman, signed a letter of intent over the summer after committing to Wichita State.
A 6-foot-3 off guard and DC’s 2006 Gatorade Player of the Year, Evann had been choosing between a handful of Division-I programs after prepping a year at Maine Central Institute. Baker opted out of his commitment to Wichita State after coach Mark Turgeon left to take the head coaching job at Texas A&M in April.
Jeremy—a combo guard—has played alongside and against teammate and reigning team MVP DeMario Anderson—a super-athletic wing who averaged 18 points in NEC play last season, during their time on the Maryland high school and AAU circuit.
It makes sense.
Maryland has morphed into a basketball breeding ground the past few years, producing players such as Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets), Rudy Gay (Memphis Grizzlies), Kevin Durant (Seattle Supersonics), and Kansas State freshman Michael Beasley, the top-ranked high school basketball player in the United States last season.
Evann Baker starred at Bishop Carrol in DC, where he punished opponents to the tune of 19 points and nine assists per game. His game caught the attention of a plethora of top-flight teams—including Ohio, Texas, and Connecticut. He made headlines after hanging 51 points on Brevard Christian in the Monteverde Academy Invitational Tournament his junior season.
Evann averaged 22 points, six dimes, and five boards at the aforementioned Maine Central Institute—where former Bobcat forward Kevin Jolley played—last season.
One game the Baker boys have pegged as crucial on their calendars is Dec. 16. Quinnipiac meets Big East foe Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center, a sparkling arena that holds 16, 294.
The largest in-state rivalry is not all that’s being renewed on this day. The Bakers will be reunited with UConn standout guard Jerome Dyson, their first cousin from Rockville, Md.