LEXINGTON, Ky. — Freshman shooting guard Jemarl Baker has been sidelined this season after having a knee surgery in the preseason, and Kentucky will likely be without him for the foreseeable future.
“I don’t think he’s close,” Wildcats coach John Calipari said Saturday after Kentucky’s 66-64 loss to Florida on Saturday. “I haven’t seen him jump at all yet, so I don’t think he’s close.”
Calipari said Oct. 30 that Baker would miss three months, but don’t expect Kentucky to have him back in 10 days.
The 6-foot-4 guard from Menifee, Calif., was a 4-star prospect and the 72nd-ranked player in the 2018 class. Baker was known as perhaps the best shooter in the class and was expected to be a 3-point weapon for the Wildcats off the bench.
Kentucky is 5-for-28 shooting (18 percent) from behind the arc in its past two games. The Wildcats were 4-for-17 on 3-pointers against Florida, and once again the nation’s longest streak of consecutive makes from distance was in jeopardy late into the second half.
“We can’t go games where you make one 3,” Wenyen Gabriel said. “It’s hard to win like that, hard to make up the extra points. We’ve got to work on our perimeter shooting, obviously. We can shoot the ball. It just hasn’t been our emphasis right now.”
Kentucky entered Saturday ranked No. 342 out of 351 NCAA teams in 3-pointers made.
“We shoot well in practice, we have shooters, and it’s just a matter of getting those shots in our offense,” sophomore Sacha Killeya-Jones said.
But the 3-point boost Baker could provide might have to wait another year. It’s likely he’ll redshirt this season.