Former Dunbar basketball teammates going in different directions

Caleb McConnell committed to Rutgers; DeVon Baker decommitted to Siena.


Former Dunbar High School basketball standouts Caleb McConnell and DeVon Baker are moving in the opposite directions.

On Sunday, McConnell announced via Twitter he has verbally committed to Rutgers University. On Monday, Baker also went to Twitter to announce he was opening his recruitment after previously committing to Siena (N.Y.).

»RELATED: Sidney’s Gordon will transfer to Huntington Prep (W.Va.)

Both transferred last summer from Dunbar to a relatively new branch of Spire Institute at Geneva, Ohio, for their senior seasons.

“I love the tradition of the school, the academics and the direction Coach (Steve) Pikiell has the program going in,” McConnell said to The Knight Report. “I want to become an impact player at Rutgers. I want to be someone who makes a difference right away.”

»RELATED: Dunbar standouts transferring to Spire

Baker listed Siena among the schools he would still consider. That would likely depend on who succeeds Jimmy Patsos as coach. He resigned last Friday following an 8-24 season and school investigation into “abusive conduct to financial improprieties within the program” according to the Associated Press.

“Due to the circumstances at Siena, I have decided to open up my recruitment and see what other schools might be food fits for me and my family,” he tweeted. “All options, including Siena, are on the table.”

This news outlet has reached out to both for comment.

»RELATED: All-Area boys basketball

Both McConnell and Baker were the leading returning scorers for Dunbar following their junior seasons in 2016-17. A 6-foot-5 guard, McConnell averaged 13.9 points, 7.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists for the Wolverines that season. Baker, a 6-2 guard, 16.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists.

Dunbar was 24-4 that season, losing to Trotwood-Madison in a Division II regional final. However, that would be the last game then-coach Pete Pullen would be in place at Dunbar, although he wasn’t officially not renewed until that fall.

Both McConnell and Baker averaged double digits in scoring at Spire (22-6). They returned to Kettering with Spire for the Good Samaritan Premier Health Flyin’ to the Hoop in January, posting an 80-70 defeat of host Fairmont in the Flyin’ opener. Baker led Spire with 22 points and McConnell tallied 19.

»RELATED: All-Area girls basketball

McConnell was ranked a three-star prospect by 247Sports.com and chose Rutgers over West Virginia, Wichita State, UMass, St. Bonaventure, Akron and Ohio among other offers. The Scarlet Knights were 15-19 overall and 3-15 in the Big Ten this past season.

»TWITTER: You should like @MarcPendleton

Joining McConnell as a Rutgers recruit is 6-6 wing Ron Harper Jr. of Don Bosco (N.J.) Prep. He’s the son of Ron Harper, who excelled at Kiser High School, Miami University and won five championships in a 16-season NBA career from 1986-2001. Harper Jr. signed last November.

»FACEBOOK: For more high school sports you should like Marc Pendleton



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Bo Knows Giving: Tigers legend gifts Auburn police with four new motorcycles
Bo Knows Giving: Tigers legend gifts Auburn police with four new motorcycles

The Auburn (Ala.) Police Department will have some sweet rides thanks to one of the greatest athletes of all time, per OANow.com. Bo Jackson, who won the Heisman Trophy as a member of the Auburn Tigers in 1985, has gifted the police department of the town with four brand new motorcycles. The reason? During Jackson’s charity...
Lincoln Riley: Baker Mayfield can ‘transform a locker room’
Lincoln Riley: Baker Mayfield can ‘transform a locker room’

The 2018 NFL Draft is less than two hours away, and Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield could end up being the No. 1 overall pick. The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner’s numbers speak for themselves. Mayfield passed for 12,292 yards and 119 touchdowns as a Sooner and led the team to three straight Big 12 championships. Alas...
What does reported Shea Patterson news mean for Florida’s Van Jefferson?
What does reported Shea Patterson news mean for Florida’s Van Jefferson?

According to a report from Chris Balas of The Wolverine on Thursday, former Ole Miss quarterback Shea Patterson is set to be ruled eligible to play for Michigan in 2018 after transferring this offseason. Another Rebels transfer, wide receiver Van Jefferson, is hoping for the same clearance from the NCAA after his transfer to ...
Former commit D’Andre Litaker discusses Tennessee, reveals biggest recruiting regrets
Former commit D’Andre Litaker discusses Tennessee, reveals biggest recruiting regrets

Tennessee is looking to recapture its glory from the 1990s. Join us daily at SEC Country for the latest Tennessee recruiting news and notes on the next crop of Volunteers. Check out previous editions  here ...
2018 NFL Draft: Saquon Barkley shows off red carpet outfit
2018 NFL Draft: Saquon Barkley shows off red carpet outfit

Saquon Barkley is representing both Penn State and Whitehall High School with his outfit for the 2018 NFL Draft . Barkley, a likely top-5 pick, was sporting a maroon jacket with a white shirt and black bow tie for the draft. Barkley has the Whitehall logo on the inside section of the right side of his jacket and the Penn State...
More Stories