Mark Pope Gives Thoughts On Debut Of BYU Newcomer Dawson Baker

Dec 16, 2023, 11:25 PM

Dawson Baker, BYU Basketball, Georgia State...

Brigham Young Cougars guard Dawson Baker (25) drives toward the hoop after faking out Georgia State Panthers guard Dwon Odom (1) as BYU and Georgia State play at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023. BYU won 86-54. (Scott G. Winteron, Deseret News)

(Scott G. Winteron, Deseret News)

PROVO, Utah – Coming into the season, there was buzz that Dawson Baker was emerging as one of the top players in the program.

But then he suffered a foot injury that sidelined him for the first 10 games of the season that saw BYU jump out to a 9-1 start.

On Saturday night, the former UC Irvine Anteater debuted as a BYU Cougar. He checked in for the first time with 4:53 remaining in the first half.

Baker played nine minutes in BYU’s 86-54 victory over Georgia State. He finished with six points, one assist, and one rebound.

Mark Pope shares thoughts on debut for Dawson Baker

Mark Pope gave his assessment of how he felt Baker performed in his BYU debut.

“I was really proud of Dawson,” said Pope. “So huge major kudos to Dawson and to Michael Davie, who’s the best probably at any level in the business and Rob Ramos because Dawson has only been able to be in some of live practice for two days. That’s it.

“We played him more minutes than we intended and he looked like he was totally comfortable. So they’ve done an unbelievable job of keeping his health and conditioning and strength when he hasn’t been able to be on the floor. I mean, come on. He’s gonna be really exciting. … I know our guys do. He’s gonna be a really helpful part of this team.”

Baker committed to BYU out of the transfer portal last spring. He was a two-time All-Big West performer, including the honor of being the Big West Freshman of the Year in 2020-21.

Baker prepped at Capistrano Valley High School and was lightly recruited by Dave Rose when he was the BYU head coach.

BYU returns to action next Friday night against Bellarmine before the Christmas break.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Mark Pope Gives Thoughts On Debut Of BYU Newcomer Dawson Baker