Former Kentucky guard and current Arizona redshirt junior Jemarl Baker Jr. will miss the remainder of the 2020-21 season.
During Sean Miller’s weekly radio show, the Arizona head coach announced that X-rays revealed a broken bone in Baker’s wrist, an injury he suffered just two minutes into the team’s loss to UCLA on Saturday.
“Very sad in a lot of different ways,” Miller said. “The truth of the matter is we lost one of our team’s best players. We lost one of our leaders. We lost one of our leading scorers.”
Baker had established himself as Arizona’s second-leading scorer, averaging 12.0 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists per contest while shooting 40.3% from the field, 34.3% from three and 83.3% from the line.
His biggest performances of the year came in a 33-point outing vs. NAU, along with another 29-point performance against Stanford.
“One of the things that I think you looked at our team and felt good about is our ball handling and passing ability,” Miller added. “I mean, there’s a reason why we played, I think, five games in a row now with 10 or fewer turnovers. I mean, Jemarl broke a school record against [NAU], making seven 3-point shots in one half, was the Pac-12 Player of the Week, scored  points against Stanford, and he’s going to be a big, big loss. We lose our depth to some degree.”
During his time at Kentucky, Baker suffered a torn meniscus as a freshman, forcing him to miss the entirety of his first season with the team. He also dealt with a lingering hip injury his first season at Arizona in 2019-20.
“Next man up. I know that’s what we have to do and trust me we’re moving on,” Miller said. “… We’re moving on without Jemarl. And as is the case with injuries, I worry more about Jemarl. He’s worked incredibly hard, sacrificed a lot, got himself in the best shape of his life. He was having a great season…and we lost a good player.”
Best of luck to Baker as he works to return back to full strength leading up to the 2021-22.