BYU landed its second transfer portal addition of the offseason as UC Irvine guard Dawson Baker chose the Cougars over other finalists Utah, Utah State, and Boise State.
Dawson told me why he chose BYU.
“As far as why BYU, it is because I feel like I’ve been groomed my whole basketball career to be in the situation BYU is going into, with playing on bigger stage. My career has been full of proving myself as a player and proving doubters wrong. It fits for me on the court and off the court and I’m excited to be on a hungry team with something to prove.”
Dawson is two/combo guard that will immediately be one of the main players in BYU’s rotation, regardless if he starts or not. Dawson is listed at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds.
A three-year starter for UC Irvine, Dawson has averaged double figures all three seasons. He was Big West freshman of the year in 2020-2021 and was named All-Big West Second-Team this past season. Dawson was the team’s leading scorer for the Big West regular season champs, averaging 15.3 points on 47% shooting from the floor, 37% from three, and 80% from the foul line. He was top 200 nationally in fouls drawn per 40 minutes, according to KenPom. His scoring increased each season from 10.7 as a freshman, 11.2 as a sophomore, and 15.3 in his third year. This past season he also averaged 3.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.6 turnovers. Dawson has two years of eligibility remaining.
Dawson entered the portal in late March and was immediately targeted by BYU. A member of the LDS Church and returned missionary, he was a natural fit culturally. On the court, Dawson gives BYU some much needed scoring punch as someone that can create his own shot. He attacks the rim and had shot more free throws than threes in his career. BYU doesn’t have many guys on the roster that can create their own shot consistently, so Dawson’s crafty ability to get buckets will be a great boost for the team.
You can watch highlights of Dawson below.