After two years at Pepperdine University, Jordan Baker got tired of losing and didn't see that changing. After finishing his sophomore season with the Waves, Baker decided he needed to find a new home to complete his college career. This week he took the first step in finding a new home and visited the University of Iowa.
"Ultimately the reason I left Pepperdine was because they weren't winning games. I want to win. They have great people and great coaches, but I couldn't deal with the losing. I just didn't feel like it was going to get any better, so I had to make a personal decision, " Baker said.
The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 10.2 points per game at Pepperdine and earn honorable mention All WCC honors in his two year stay with the Waves. Once he announced he was leaving Pepperdine, Iowa expressed interest in Baker, but the talking to the Iowa coaches had to be put on hold.
"I got my release papers and Iowa showed interest right away, but Pepperdine put restrictions on the schools I could talk to so they couldn't talk to them," Baker said. "I appealed the restrictions for a few of the schools and Iowa was one of them and they released me, so I could start talking to them."
Once the release was official and Iowa was cleared to speak with Baker, the Hawkeyes picked up the phone and started the courting process.
"Coach Francis called me right away once I won the appeal and they received the paperwork," he said. "He told me they were interested in me and that they liked what they saw from me on film. He said they wanted to get me on a visit, so we set it up."
Baker visited Iowa earlier this week prior to the 4th of July holiday and was pleased and surprised by what he found on his trip to Iowa City.
"I was surprised how beautiful Iowa City was. It was a great college town and I really liked the weather there in the summer. I really enjoyed everything about the visit and had a good time with the guys on the team."
During his time in Iowa City, he was able to scrimmage with many of the Iowa players on Tuesday and get comfortable with them. He also sat down with Coach Fran McCaffery, who was very honest with the potential transfer about how he runs the Hawkeye program.
"I talked to him (McCaffery) and he's a really honest guy. He said I would have to come in and earn my playing time. He said I shouldn't come in expecting to start and I really respect that. I don't expect to be handed anything wherever I go. I told him I have never run away from competition and I want to earn it," Baker said.
At this point being the first visit, Baker said Iowa is his leader, but he will be making more visits in the next month before making a final decision. The Arizona native plans to visit Florida State, Providence, and Colorado State before deciding where he will continue his college career.
"I am going to compare the rest of the visits to Iowa. Obviously, Iowa was the first so they are the leader, but I haven't taken any of the other visits yet. I committed pretty quickly the last time around and I want to find the right fit at the next school."
Baker says he has a good criterion in mind as he searches for his next school and goes through the recruiting process.
"I am going to look at the relationship with the coaching staff and how comfortable I am with them, how well I fit in with the rest of the guys on the team, and I want to win. Those are the things I am going to look for in my decision."