Duke Basketball: Joey Baker’s redshirt decision is nearing

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

When Joey Baker reclassified to the 2018 class he knew playing time would be hard to earn, but a decision needs to be made if he will redshirt for the 2018-19 season.

Joey Baker is a four-star recruit who reclassified from the 2019 class to join the 2018 recruiting class at Duke. Baker is from the state of North Carolina and was ranked No. 33 in the 2018 class according to the 247Sports Composite.

Baker decided to forgo his senior year at Trinity Christian School to join the Duke Blue Devils a year early.

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This decision added him to the already premier incoming Duke freshman class. Baker joins fellow teammates RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish, Zion Williamson, and Tre Jones for the 2018-2019 season.

Which is why Baker and the coaches at Duke discussed the possibility of redshirting his freshman year. As the season comes to a start so does the decision of redshirting for Baker and the Staff.

In May, when Baker was asked about the possibility of redshirting he told 247 Sports:

"“We are not sure exactly right now. We’ll see how the summer and fall goes and practices and stuff like that. We won’t make the decision now. We’ll make it later in October or November.”"

With Duke’s opener on November 6 against Kentucky now less than a month away, this redshirt decision in nearly upon us.

In the summer exhibition games in Canada, Baker handled himself well. On this three-game trip Baker averaged 14.7 minutes, 7 points, 2 rebounds, and shot 45.5 pct from three-point range. These exhibition games gave fans optimism heading into fall practice.

But even with the strong showing in Canada, Baker finds himself in a difficult situation.

Baker primarily plays the shooting guard and small forward position which is already a strong position for the Blue Devils. Barrett, Reddish, Williamson, Alex O’Connell, and Jack White are likely to be ahead of Baker on the depth chart heading into the 18-19 season.

If Baker decided to redshirt his freshman year, he could benefit from another year of college practice, weight-training, and academics before starting his collegiate basketball career. This could put Baker in a prime position as a leader and player heading into the 2019-2020 season.

With the season nearly upon us, it will be interesting to see what Baker and the Coaching Staff decided about redshirting.