The recruitment of elite Austin Westlake center Will Baker will come to an end today when he makes his decision between the Texas Longhorns and UCLA Bruins on Thursday.
At 4:30 on Thursday in the Westlake High School PAC, I will be announcing my college decision. pic.twitter.com/WTV9QKzw9y— Will Baker (@thrillbaker) November 5, 2018
As it currently stands, Texas is considered the favorite for Baker’s services, per his Crystal Ball, with 10 of his 11 projections picking the Longhorns. If those projections prove true, Baker would become the latest five-star interior talent to commit to Texas throughout the Shaka Smart era, joining fellow Austin native Jarrett Allen and Mohamed Bamba, both of whom went on to become one-and-done first round NBA Draft selections.
However, if Baker also elects to take his talents to Texas, it would cause a bit of a conundrum from a scholarship standpoint. Aside from any unforeseen attrition, whether it be via a transfer or an early departure for the NBA Draft, the Longhorns will return 11 members from their 2018-19 roster, and already hold a pair of four-star pledges from center Kai Jones — who projects as a stretch forward, so there wouldn’t be any overlap with Baker — and shooting guard Donovan Williams.
Nevertheless, ranked as the nation’s No. 20 player, No. 7 center, and as the No. 2 player in Texas, per the 247Sports Composite, Baker is the kind of talent you take, regardless of the numbers, and figure out the rest later.
And so today, we’ll learn whether or not Smart will have that problem — a good one to have when it means adding a five-star talent to the mix — to work through during the 2018-19 season and on into next spring.