With all due respect to Keldon Johnson’s five straight three-pointers early in the game, Jemarl Baker had the hottest hand Saturday evening.
And with all due respect to the many great shooters who have come through the Kentucky basketball program, Jemarl Baker is the best ever, currently.
Playing in his first career game in Rupp Arena, Baker checked in with a little over one minute to go and completely changed the game. He took a 22-point Kentucky lead and turned it into a 28-point Kentucky with two three-pointers.
The first was Doron Lamb-esque. Baker came off a great screen from Sophomore Nick Richards and let it fly without a split second to think. It’s the quick trigger John Calipari said he wanted to see from Tyler Herro earlier in the season:
The second trey was a heat-check from NBA range on the very next possession, right in the eye of a Utah big man:
Steph Curry 2.0, anyone???
If my calculations are correct, at that rate, Baker would’ve scored somewhere in the neighborhood of 218 points if he had played the entire game. I know it’s a little farfetched to think that way, but I see nothing that suggests it’s impossible.
It’s pretty safe to say he’ll see a little more than one minute next time.