It started with a guarantee.
Three years ago, with Rutgers struggling during conference season, sophomore star Geo Baker made guarantee. He promised that the Scarlet Knights would not finish in last place that season.
The team then ripped off its first three game conference win streak in ages. They won three conference road games, including a drubbing of a ranked Iowa team. And they finished tenth in the Big Ten. It didn’t cause a lot of national writers to notice, but Rutgers fans perked up. It wasn’t last place.
And, thus, the legend of Geo Baker began to grow.
For the last three years, Baker has been the leader of the Scarlet Knights and the face of Rutgers. Whether it was his clutch baskets throughout his four year career or his “step back challenge” when the pandemic hit, Baker has been the one Rutgers fans look toward.
The thing about Baker is, he’s never had the lights out stats. He’s never been the can’t miss guy. But he’s at the top of the scouting report for the opposition, and teams know that if you can stop Geo, you have a good chance of winning. That hasn’t stopped Baker though.
Geo Baker is the leader of this team and when he speaks, people should listen. He’s never been afraid to shy away from talking a big game and then backing it up. In the off-season leading up to the 2019-2020 season, he simply tweeted “1991” and Rutgers fans knew exactly what he meant. The last time the Scarlet Knights went to the NCAA Tournament was in 1991 and Baker was about to end that streak. His clutch deep two pointer against Purdue in overtime last year would have sealed an appearance had the COVID appearance not hit.
This off-season Baker tweeted 1976. And Rutgers fans knew.
This season hasn’t been perfect and Baker hasn’t always been at the top of his game, but when it mattered, he stepped up. In a must-win game vs. Indiana on Senior night, Baker once again made history scoring 20 points and dishing out 10 assists. A player who loves making history did so again—becoming Rutgers first ever Big Ten Player of the Week. And yesterday, he did his part playing sidekick to Jacob Young, and scoring 12 points including two huge threes.
Geo Baker is going down as an all time Rutgers great. He’s a player fans will remember forever. And when he speaks, fans listen.
So keep an eye on his Twitter account after Selection Sunday. Who knows what he will be thinking then?