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No More Days Until Iowa Basketball: Michael Baer

His brother is future Toronto Raptor great, Nicholas Baer

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Just like decorations in stores and Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel, basketball season feels like it’s starting earlier and earlier. And it’s finally here with our last guy in the countdown!


55: Luka Garza
51: Aidan Vanderloo
35: Cordell Pemsl
30: Connor McCaffery
24: Nico Hobbs
22: Pat McCaffery
20: Riley Till
15: Ryan Kriener
13: Austin Ash
10: Joe Wieskamp
5: C.J. Fredrick
4: Bakari Evelyn
3: Jack Nunge
2: Jordan Bohannon
1: Joe Toussaint

Michael Baer
Forward, 6’7”, 205 lbs.
Junior, Bettendorf, IA (Bettendorf)

Nicholas Baer’s store is almost impossible to rewrite. He turned from a high school player whose name was given to Fran McCaffery by his older sister to walk-on to Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year in roughly 3 years. He’s now on Toronto’s G-League roster after being the only Hawkeye other than Jarrod Uthoff to post a Plus/Minus of 10 or more since 2010.

What can be replicated?

The unparalleled “work ethic, character and demeanor” McCaffery has used when describing Nicholas.

If his trajectory as a Hawkeye is any indication, the younger Baer follows closely in those footsteps. A manger his freshman year, he transitioned to walk-on his sophomore year.

His playing time was limited and restricted to garbage time, but he did have a record-breaking performance. According to Hawkeye Sports, his three against Savannah State last year was the 19th of the day for the Hawks, which set a new record.

It was his only basket on the season.

For 2019-20, more of the same can be expected. Much of his work will be unseen as a member of the scout team and celebrator extraordinaire. But if he’s anything like his brother, he’ll give it his all and leave everything on the court.

No matter who is, or isn’t, watching.