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10 Questions: Mo Baker



Photo Attribution: USATSI

Photo Attribution: USATSI

Maurice Baker’s junior season is firmly entrenched in the pantheon of best seasons by a Cowboy basketball player in the history of the program. Here were his averages that year:

Points – 19.8
Rebounds – 6.7
Assists – 4.2
Steals – 2.0
Blocks – 0.1

He fell off a little his senior year due to an injury but has been playing professionally ever since. Right now he’s averaging six points, four boards, and three assists for the Santa Cruz Warriors (Golden State’s D-League team).

I got a chance to talk to do 10 questions (OK, we went way over that…hope you don’t mind) with Mo recently. Hope you guys enjoy it[1. As an aside, Mo is probably my favorite “nobody remembers that guy but he was freaking unbelievable when he played” OSU guy ever.].

1. What motivates you?

Making it back to the NBA. That’s the ultimate goal.

2. What was your experience with the Trailblazers and Clippers like[2. Mo played five total games for each of these teams in 2005.]?

I learned a lot [from being around the players and coaches]. Up top it’s the ultimate dream you’ve been trying to do all your life. I learned how the business of the thing goes in the NBA.

3. Who’s the best guy you’ve ever gone up against?

When I was in college it was tough going in college against T.J. Ford and Jamaal Tinsley. In the pros there’s so many guys I can’t even name one.

Ed. note: Baker had 26-10-5-3 against Tinsley in an ’01 win against Iowa State so “tough” is a relative term…

4. Who’s one guy you’d pay to watch play basketball?

I’d pay to go see Le’Bron play. The things he does on the court are amazing. It’s, like, he’s not human. He does a lot of things for his team.

5. What do you do in your downtime when traveling in the D-League?

I watch games a lot. Watch other opponents on the laptop. We hang out as a group as a team — we go out to dinner and when we’re on the road we go and try to watch movies.

6. Do you still keep up with any of your old OSU teammates?

All the time. I talk to guys all the time from my old team and from the teams I didn’t play with but came back and was friends with. Some of the guys from Oklahoma State came through Dakota[3. A D-League team Baker used to play for.] and we played together so I talk to those guys a lot too.
10 Q
Who did you play with?

I played with Marcus Dove, Cheyne Gadsen, and David Monds.

7. Who’s the guy you keep up with the most?

Probably between Antoine Broxsie[4. Hall-of-fame profile picture.], Melvin Sanders, and Victor. I talk to those guys a lot. It’s tough to say because I’ll talk to one of them and after I talk to them I’ll call the other one and see how he’s doing.

8. What’s the most memorable game you played in at Oklahoma State

Probably the game after the game after the plane crash, we played Mizzou. That was a big game for us, we needed that game to try and get into the tournament. That’s the game that really stands out in my mind.

They were pretty good that year too.

They were pretty good, led by Kareem Rush.

9. Do you still follow OSU basketball.

All the time. I know Steve[5. Assistant coach, Steve Middleton.] a lot. He got married to a woman from my neighborhood so me and Steve have a good relationship.

10. Could your ’01 team beat this year’s OSU team?

Yes, we’d beat those guys!

[lots of laughter, suddenly gets serious] Who’s going to guard Marcus Smart though?

We have a defensive stopper by the name of Melvin Sanders. We’d have a lot of people we can throw at him: me, Vic, Melvin. We’d go make it tough for him.

See I think you’d have to put Melvin on Markel and then maybe you or Victor could matchup with Smart.

Haha yeah, we’d rotate it around.

11. What was the thing about Eddie Sutton that stuck out most when you were playing for him?

He was a father figure. He cared about the guys a lot, off the court, not just basketball-wise.

Do you still keep up with him?

Yeah, I know he lost his wife about a month or so ago, that was tough. I tried to get in contact with him to send my condolence but I never got in contact with him[6. If anyone reading this knows Eddie, I’m sure Mo would appreciate the mention.].

12. You’ve played all over the world[7. Russia, Syria, Mexico, Lithuania, France, Puerto Rico, Mexico again, Philippines, Venezuela, and Dominican Republic. Whew.], what’s the craziest incident you’ve run into while playing? 

Probably in the Middle East while we had a game they set fireworks off outside the building and I didn’t know what they were doing. It sounded like a big bomb. I didn’t know what was going on. The game kept going like it was nothing.

It’d be about time for me to get back to the U.S.

Haha yeah it was, my teammates told me it was okay though so I finished the game.

13. What are your plans for life after basketball?

After basketball I’m going to try and coach. If I have to start my way at the bottom and work my way up from middle school to high school to college to pro. I have a couple of connections around the world so we’ll see what happens with that. My family is in St. Louis but I’ve traveled so much that I’d go anywhere to coach.

This is the best Mo Baker YouTube clip I could find. What did we do before YouTube was awesome??

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