AUSTIN (KXAN) — Westlake senior Will Baker is staying home.
The seven-foot, five-star center chose Texas on Wednesday at a commitment ceremony at his high school. He chose the Longhorns over UCLA. Stanford and Georgetown were in his final four, and he also had an offer from nearly every major program in the country.
“When it came down to it, Texas is the best fit for me,” Baker said. “One reason is coach Shaka Smart. he’s committed to my success as a player. I feel like I’d be successful there and he would really utilize my offensive abilities. Secondly, I think I fit in with the guys really well there, the other players. I’m really looking forward to playing with Matt Coleman.”
During the Texas Tip-Off preseason event, Coleman, a sophomore point guard this year, was actively recruiting Baker, walking around the court with a poster that said “WE WANT WILL #BAKESHOW”.
According ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports, Baker is considered a top-10 center in the country.
As a junior, Baker helped lead the Chaps to the state semifinals, before losing to Allen. He averaged over 19 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. In a district that featured loads of D1 talent, including fellow teammates Matthew Mayer, who is now at Baylor, Xavier freshman Keonte Kennedy and current Longhorn Brock Cunningham, Baker was named district 25-6A MVP.
Baker pointed to head coach Shaka Smart’s development of big men for why he chose thee Longhorns. In his first three years ont he 40 Acres, Smart’s sent both Mo Bamba and Jarrett Allen, a fellow Austin product, to the NBA after just one year on campus.
“Texas has a really good past history with developing big guys,” Baker said. “Tthat’s important to me, as well. They have that history, so hopefully I can just improve as much as I can like they did their freshman year.”
Baker is the third member of UT’s 2019 recruiting class, joining fellow center, Kai Jones, and Donovan Williams. Both are four-star recruits according to 247Sports.