Joey Baker, who announced his transfer to Michigan on Friday, may have a chance to throw himself a belated "Senior Night" celebration of sorts in Cameron Indoor Stadium next season. In a way, it would be a befitting moment for the former four-year Duke basketball reserve.
After all, Baker's last game in Durham as a Blue Devil got wholly lost among all the hoopla surrounding Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski's home finale as the head coach.
For now, we must wait and see if the ACC-Big Ten Challenge schedule-makers allow for such a scenario to play out. In the meantime, though, the possibility appears realistic.
Consider the fact Duke has not squared off against Michigan in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge since 2013. Furthermore, the Blue Devils are due for a home game after playing on the road in the event last season, not to mention in three of the past five years.
Plus, the Blue Devils and Wolverines figure to begin their 2022-23 journeys inside the Preseason AP Top 25.
So a Duke-Michigan matchup in late November or early December would be compelling even if Baker wasn't heading to Ann Arbor for his fifth year (stems from the NCAA not counting the COVID-depleted 2020-21 season against anyone's eligibility).
A significant role in store for the outbound Duke basketball alum?
Michigan basketball insiders seem to agree that Joey Baker will enjoy more playing time for the Wolverines than he saw during any season at Duke. Last season, the Fayetteville, N.C., native averaged 4.5 points and 1.2 rebounds in only 11.9 minutes per outing.
With several of Michigan's premier 2021-22 shooters no longer in town, fourth-year head coach Juwan Howard is likely to call on Baker often as one of the first few options off the bench.
And if nothing else, the 6-foot-6 former four-star recruit showed the ability to catch fire from downtown as a Blue Devil occasionally. However, many of these instances came during his sophomore campaign.
Still, as a senior, he went 4-for-5 beyond the arc in a home win over Florida State.
Across his Duke career, Baker shot 75-for-198 (37.9 percent) from 3-point land.
While Blue Devil fans might not root for Joey Baker to have a career shooting night in Durham as a member of the visiting squad, most should agree that he deserves such a final memory in Cameron after getting pushed to the side on "Senior Night."
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