The Nevada basketball team has officially added Will Baker to its roster, the school announced Tuesday.
The 6-foot-11 transfer from Texas committed to Nevada on Jan. 1 but had not signed his paperwork and been cleared to join the team until recently. Baker was a top-40 national recruit out of Westlake High School in Austin before signing with Texas over UCLA, which was coached by Nevada's Steve Alford at the time.
As a senior, Baker averaged 24.7 points and 12.8 rebounds a game as Westlake reached the Class 6A regional semifinals and finished the season 34-4. Rivals (No. 28 nationally), 247Sports (No. 36) and ESPN (No. 37) all ranked him as an elite prospect. Baker was the Austin American-Statesman’s Central Texas Player of the Year following his junior and senior seasons. He won three-straight District 25-6A championships with Westlake.
“Like Grant Sherfield, I recruited Will while at UCLA," Alford said in a news release. "Building relationships in the recruiting process has been crucial. Will is a very skilled seven-footer in all areas and is exactly what we are looking for in regard to being an outstanding person, student and player. Will has a very bright future.”
Baker played in 23 games for Texas as a freshman last season, averaging 2.1 points and 1.9 rebounds over 8.3 minutes a game. In the season season’s final seven games, he averaged nearly six points over 15 minutes per contest. Baker had not played this season when he announced his intention to transfer in late November.
Baker told Nevada Sports Net earlier this month he looks forward to fitting into Nevada's offensive scheme.
“I think I’m a pretty skilled offensive player, so like I think I would fit in the system just being able to play inside out, finding opportunities to score around the basket or from outside whether that’s off pick-and-rolls or pick-and-pops or just posting up," Baker said. "So I think Nevada, that’s gonna be a really good fit for me.”
Per NCAA rules, Baker won't be eligible to play for Nevada until the spring semester of 2022, although the program said it will explore waiver options through the NCAA.
Baker is the fourth newcomer added to the Wolf Pack in 2020-21. He joins Oregon transfer Addison Patterson, who began practicing with the team this month, and prep standouts Nick Davidson (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei HS) and Jalen Weaver (Aurora, Colo./Southern California Academy), who signed national letters of intents with Nevada in November. Those additions put Nevada two over the NCAA maximum scholarship limit of 13 scholarship players for next season.
Baker is the sixth Division I transfer to sign with Nevada since Alford was hired in April 2019, joining Sherfield, Patterson, Warren Washington, Desmond Cambridge and Johncarlos Reyes.
Nevada's 2021 recruiting class
* Will Baker, 6-11/245, Austin, Texas (Texas)
* Nick Davidson, 6-8/210, Santa Ana, Calif. (Mater Dei HS)
* Addison Patterson, 6-6/195, Milton, Ontario, Canada (Oregon)
* Jalen Weaver, 6-4/185, Aurora, Colo. (Southern California Academy)