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One more look at Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet at Wichita State

Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet played in four NCAA Tournaments and won three Missouri Valley Conference titles at Wichita State.
Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet played in four NCAA Tournaments and won three Missouri Valley Conference titles at Wichita State. The Wichita Eagle

Eleven essential Baker/VanVleet stories:

March 19, 2016 — The Ron and Fred Club has a million members. It feels like they’re adored by young and old and even by crusty reporters like me, who relied on their insights and willingness to talk during good times and bad.

Imagine the emotions they were experiencing Saturday as they attempted to understand why the Shockers lost, examine their parts in the defeat and gain perspective on their incredible careers.

March 18, 2016 — But, in a strange way, it seems as if the NBA stock of both players has dropped the longer they’ve been at Wichita State. As accolades pile up, the analysts who follow this stuff closely don’t regard either as top pro prospects.

The website draftexpress.com has VanVleet listed at No. 27 and Baker No. 33 among college seniors this season.

Crazy.

March 14, 2016 — “People are not proud to say that they are from Rockford,” said J.D. Danforth, VanVleet’s brother. “He’s making it cool to say that ‘Hey, I am from Rockford.’ A lot of kids around here need that positive influence to know that you can make it out of a place that’s rough. You’ve got violence. You’ve got crime. Fred made it.”

March 14, 2016 — They’ve worn a path between Wichita and Scott City over the past four years. Neil’s Ford Escape has rolled more than 170,000 miles.

The Bakers love coming to Wichita for Shocker games, but they love going home, too.

Jan. 16, 2016 — “Our friendship is damn-near the same thing as me and my brother,” VanVleet said of Baker. “Whether we’re talking every day or not, it’s still there. There’s an actual real love and trust, a real friendship. He’s one of the best friends I’ve had.”

Dec. 30, 2015 — “The guy is Rambo,” ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla said after the Pan Am Games in July. “He plays fearlessly. He went toe-to-toe with some physical, grown men who know how to play the game and he really helped Team USA. He, arguably, was the best collegian. Most of them got better as the week went on, but he showed the most growth.”

Nov. 4, 2015 — Ron Baker, Evan Wessel and Fred VanVleet are starting their final seasons with the Wichita State basketball team. Baker and Wessel arrived in 2011 and roomed together in Fairmount Towers. Baker, from Scott City, redshirted while Wessel, from Wichita, played in 13 games as a freshman

Baker hosted VanVleet during his recruiting visit and he joined the Shockers in 2012, coming from Rockford, Ill.

You know the rest.

March 19, 2014 — As long as VanVleet can remember, Danforth has challenged him and his brothers when they faced a daunting opponent by saying, “What are they going to do you? Is he going to shoot you? Is he going to stab you?”

Tough talk.

“But it’s true,” VanVleet said.

Dec 30, 2014 — It is Missouri Valley Conference basketball time and that means student sections are warming up for Wichita State, planning their court-storming route and their Ron Baker signs. Boosted by the Final Four, great hair and a great jump shot, Baker is the Hunter Pence of the MVC, a constant target of teasing and signage from fans.

April 2, 2013 — Surrounded by pandemonium, Baker’s mind was clear when his postgame interview with TNT’s Jaime Maggio concluded. The camera cut to Baker, who pointed and looked right into millions of living rooms across the country and spoke from his heart.

“Scott City, I love you.”

From the farm to the Final Four, Baker’s journey begins and ends with Scott City.

March 27, 2013 — A few steps away from the living room is VanVleet’s old bedroom, and that’s part of the story, too. When the family bought an American Idol game for PlayStation, he declined to play. One day his mom found him practicing alone in his bedroom.

“You can’t play nothing if you’re going to lose,” he said. “I didn’t know how to play.”

A video collection

From NCAA.com

Ron Baker highlights

From CBS Sports

From CBS Sports

From The Wichita Eagle/Kansas.com

Honors

Ron Baker

2015-16

USBWA All-District VI

NABC All-District 16

All-Missouri Valley Conference

MVC All-Defensive Team

2014-15

Wooden Award All-American

USA Today second team All-American

Honorable mention Associated Press All-American

USBWA All-District VI

NABC All-District 16

All-Missouri Valley Conference

Lute Olson Award Finalist

Oscar Robertston Award Finalist

Jerry West Award Finalist

2013-14

USBWA All-District VI

NABC All-District 16

All-Missouri Valley Conference

Fred VanVleet

2015-16

Honorable mention Associated Press All-American

MVC Player of the Year

All-Missouri Valley Conference

MVC All-Defensive Team

USBWA All-District VI

NABC All-District 16

Senior CLASS Award second team

2014-15

Honorable mention Associated Press All-American

USBWA All-District VI

NABC All-District 16

All-Missouri Valley Conference

MVC All-Defensive Team

MVC All-Tournament

Bob Cousy Award finalist

Lute Olson Award finalist

2013-14

Third team All-American (The Sporting News, NABC)

Honorable mention Associated Press All-American

MVC Player of the Year

USBWA All-District VI

NABC All-District 16

All-Missouri Valley Conference

MVC All-Defensive Team

MVC All-Tournament

MVC Most Improved Team

Bob Cousy Award finalist

Where they rank at Wichita State (career)

Points

1. Cleo Littleton (1951-55), 2,164

8. Ron Baker (2011-16), 1,636

15. Fred VanVleet (2012-16), 1,439

Scoring average

1. Dave Stallworth (1961-65), 24.2

26. Baker (2011-16), 13.2

Field goals made

1. Xavier McDaniel (1981-85), 893

11. Baker (2011-16), 522

25. VanVleet (2012-16), 463

Field goals attempted

1. Cleo Littleton (1951-55), 1,861

13. . Baker (2011-16), 1,205

17. VanVleet (2012-16), 1,086

Three-pointers made

1. Randy Burns (2001-05), 248

2. . Baker (2011-16), 242

8. VanVleet (2012-16), 141

Three-pointers attempted

1. Baker (2011-16), 655

9. VanVleet (2012-16), 365

Three-point percentage

1. Gary Cundiff (1982-84, 85-87), 48.5

19. VanVleet (2012-16), 38.6

26. Baker (2011-16), 36.9

Free throws made

1. Cleo Littleton (1951-55), 642

7. VanVleet (2012-16), 372

11. Baker (2011-16), 350

Free throws attempted

1. Cleo Littleton (1951-55), 872

13. VanVleet (2012-16), 462

17. Baker (2011-16), 437

Free throw percentage

1. Matt Clark (2000-04), 87.5

14. VanVleet (2012-16), 80.5

16. Baker (2011-16), 80.1

Rebounds

1. Xavier McDaniel (1981-85), 1,359

35. Baker (2011-16), 521

47. VanVleet (2012-16), 467

Assists

1. VanVleet (2012-16), 637

9. Baker (2011-16), 345

Assists average

1. Warren Armstrong (1965-68), 5.5

7. VanVleet (2012-16), 4.5

28. Baker (2011-16), 2.8

Blocked shots

1. Antoine Carr (1979-83), 209

13. Baker (2011-16), 76

Steals

1. VanVleet (2012-16), 225

4. Baker (2011-16), 163

Steals average

1. Robert George (1990-92), 2.1

4. VanVleet (2012-16), 1.6

9. Baker (2011-16), 1.3

Games played

T1. VanVleet (2012-16), Tekele Cotton (2011-15), 141

T11. Baker (2011-16), 124

Games started

1. Toure Murry (2008-12), 130

2. Baker (2011-16), 121

8. VanVleet (2012-16), 102

Minutes

1. Toure Murry (2008-12), 3,999

4. Baker (2011-16), 3,796

5. VanVleet (2012-16), 3,775

Minutes average

1. Randy Smithson (1979-81), 35.1

12. Baker (2011-16), 30.6

31. VanVleet (2012-16), 26.8

Where they rank at Wichita State (season)

Points

1. Xavier McDaniel (1984-85), 844

21. Baker (2014-15), 516

35. VanVleet (2014-15), 475

Three-pointers made

1. Sean Ogirri (2005-06), 91

2. Ron Baker (2014-15), 80

5. Ron Baker (2013-14), 68

10. Ron Baker (2015-16), 64

Three-pointers attempted

1. Ron Baker (2014-15), 209

5. Ron Baker (2015-16), 183

6. Ron Baker (2013-14), 179

Three-point shooting percentage

1. Joe Ragland (2011-12), 50.4

21. Fred VanVleet (2013-14), 41.8

Free throws made

1. Cleo Littleton (1954-55), 220

14. Fred VanVleet (2014-15), 133

Free throw percentage

1. Matt Clark (2003-04), 91.5

32. Fred VanVleet (2013-14), 83

Assists

1. Warren Armstrong (1967-68), 194

2. Fred VanVleet (2013-14), 193

4. Fred VanVleet (2014-15), 183

6. Fred VanVleet (2015-16), 172

31. Ron Baker (2015-16), 113

Assists average

1. Warren Armstrong (1967-68), 7.5

8. Fred VanVleet (2015-16), 5.5

11. Fred VanVleet (2013-14), 5.4

14. Fred VanVleet (2014-15), 5.2

Steals

1. Malcolm Armstead (2012-13), 76

2. Fred VanVleet (2013-14), 69

4. Fred VanVleet (2014-15), 66

T9. Jason Perez (1998-99), 55

Fred VanVleet (2015-16), 55

11. Ron Baker (2015-16), 53

14. Ron Baker (2013-14), 51

22. Ron Baker (2014-15), 45

Steals average

1. Jason Perez (1999-2000), 2.3

7. Fred VanVleet (2013-14), 1.9

9. Fred VanVleet (2014-15), 1.9

11. Fred VanVleet (2015-16), 1.9

19. Ron Baker (2015-16), 1.5

Where they rank in the Missouri Valley Conference (career)

Scoring

1. Hersey Hawkins, Bradley (1984-88), 3,008 points

56. Ron Baker (2012-16), 1,636

82. Fred VanVleet (2012-16), 1,504

Assists

1. Anthony Manuel, Bradley (1985-89), 855

5. Fred VanVleet (2012-16), 673

Steals

1. Ryan Sears, Creighton (1997-01), 283

10. Fred VanVleet (2012-16), 225

Three-pointers made

1. Kyle Korver, Creighton (1993-2003), 371

18 Ron Baker (2012-16), 242

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