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2016 NBA Draft Radar: Wichita State’s Ron Baker can be an NBA Difference Maker


For us geezers who watch basketball, we like the idea of a player getting four years of work in college before he joins the professional ranks. We even think four years of college can make a player that would not have made it in the league, a serviceable NBA professional.

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For the new school hoop junkies, four years of college is seen as a sign that you probably won’t project well at the next level and will likely be in the D-League for a while.

Wichita State guard Ron Baker is going to either make one of these trains of thought correct, or maybe he will fulfill the third option which is he works really hard in the D-League to become a serviceable pro.

The very thing that has Ron Baker on the 2016 NBA Draft Radar is the fact that he works hard.

Being at a mid-major like Wichita State, nothing is going to be handed to you, everything must be earned.

Baker has earned being in NBA Draft discussions. He has improved every year that he has been with the Shockers.

He went from averaging 8.7 points as a freshman to averaging 13.1 as a sophomore and averaging 14.7 points per contest as a junior.

Along the way he has shown a penchant for playing big in big games. In his freshman performance in the 2013 NCAA tournament when Wichita State defeated Gonzaga, he was phenomenal hitting 4 of 6 treys en route to a 16 point outing.

(Photo: Peter Aiken, USA TODAY Sports)

Though the Shockers lost in the 2014 NCAA tournament to the Kentucky Wildcats, Baker still played strong scoring 20 points on 7 of 12 shooting.

In the 2015 NCAA Tournament, his 5 of 10 for 12 points was big in dispatching the Kansas Jayhawks.

Ron Baker for his career averages 12.9 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 43.7% from the field and 37.7% from three-point range.

Besides the fact that he is going to be a four-year player with big game experience when the NBA Draft comes around next summer, the other attraction is that Ron Baker has good size for a guard.

Being listed at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds , is good size for either guard spot. He does a pretty good job of using his big frame to get buckets in close when he penetrates and is able to finish pretty well off of contact though he does not wow you with explosive leaping ability.

Another thing that stands out about his game is that he knows how to move without the ball and get buckets. When you have a shooter that knows how to move without the ball and has an understanding of how to come off of screens, he can be an asset on the NBA level.

He has virtually unlimited range and a quick release on his jumper. The most important thing to his game which should guarantee that his name is called next summer is the fact that he is a tough, hard-nosed player with little if any flash to his game.

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  • There are going to be questions about his defensive ability on the next level however.

    Regardless of whether he is matched up with point guards or some shooting guards, he is not the fastest player so he is going to have to rely on his defensive basketball IQ.

    He is also going to need to improve on his ball-handling a taste just in case he does end up playing some point guard on the NBA level.

    DraftExpress and NBA Draft.net both have Ron Baker as an early to mid Second Round draft choice.

    It would not be out of the realm of possibility for Ron Baker to sneak into the late first round with a good 2015-16 showing.

    Wichita State has been knocking on the door of a NCAA title for the past few years now and Ron Baker is a huge reason why.

    The chip that he plays with and the ability he has shown to be as a leader is going to serve him well going forward.

    This is a player who’s stock should actually go up during the 2015-16 season.

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