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LINKS: Top-5 Prospect Patrick Baldwin, Jr. Committing Soon?

Georgetown still in the mix to add to stellar class with the 5-star recruit.

Basketball: USA Men’s Junior National Team Minicamp Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The wait for an announcement for 5-star forward Patrick Baldwin, Jr. from Wisconsin may be over soon.

Whispers that Baldwin has been inquiring about an announcement “edit,” a crystal ball prediction for Duke, and increased rumors of the Blue Devils’ other recruits pressuring Baldwin all point to an imminent decision. Whether the quiet recruitment means Georgetown is (still) a finalist is up to speculation.

Hilltop Hoops (formerly Hoyas247) has detailed some of the most prevalent rumors in a new post (give them a click and a follow, if you haven’t yet):

Baldwin is ostensibly choosing from a list of about 10 schools, including Duke and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where his father coaches. Georgetown is thought to be in the final three.

In case you haven’t heard, Baldwin is a 6’7”+ wing/forward who can shoot very well and is smooth with the ball. Baldwin was the presumed number-1 recruit before he was sidelined by an ankle injury this season. He’s now considered by a consensus to be in the top two or three at his position and in the top 5 overall. Baldwin is widely expected to be a 2022 NBA lottery pick and a program-changer even if only joining for one season.

Duke fans believe they are the front runners.

Momentum favors Duke basketball in Patrick Baldwin Jr. race | BALLDURHAM

Granted, 75 percent of the Crystal Ball still projects Milwaukee to win out over Patrick Baldwin Jr.’s other nine finalists: Duke, Georgetown, Kentucky, Michigan, Northwestern, UCLA, UNC, Virginia, and Wisconsin. That said, as the 18-year-old nears the finish line of his recruitment, John Watson’s changed pick is the most recent one, marking the first for the Blue Devils this calendar year.

On the other hand, Baldwin has yet to set a decision date, and Tipton Edits recently tweeted that the day will likely come without advance warning. Therefore, at this point, there’s really no telling when the news will break or what all may change between now and then.

Duke basketball: 3 signs Patrick Baldwin Jr. might choose Blue Devils | BALLDURHAM

As Keels has pointed out on multiple occasions, Banchero played at least some role in Mike Krzyzewski and his gang sealing the deal with him in early April. Adding to that point, Banchero chimed in on the same day as Keels’ announcement with an encouraging Instagram comment regarding Baldwin, noting a “95 percent” chance in his eyes that the sharpshooter joins the club.

Around the same time, Keels said the following on his Instagram Live: “AJ and Paolo were recruiting me, and now all three of us are about to go right at [Patrick Baldwin Jr.]. We definitely gonna get him. We gonna try to get him. We 3-for-4 right now, man, so we gotta get that 4-for-4, and we straight.” Naturally, all the extra time to do so could help the cause of these makeshift Duke recruiters...

Here are some of the recruiting site profiles for Pat Baldwin:

Many Hoyas fans who have watched Baldwin’s film have compared the small forward more to Otto Porter than Jeff Green, but his upside is likely higher than either.

INSIDENU compared Baldwin to another NBA Porter:

A much more apt comparison is Michael Porter Jr., the former number one overall high school prospect who missed nearly the entirety of his freshman season at Missouri and sat out his entire first year in the NBA with the Denver Nuggets. Porter has broken out as a pleasant addition in Denver in the 2019-20 season despite playing less than 1000 minutes in the regular season, as the 6-foot-11, 44.2 percent three-point shooter adds a bit of pop and burst to a team sometimes lacking in those areas.

Just by raw percentages there’s a case that while PBJ is a very good shooter, he’s not an elite, knockdown type of guy just yet. I was able to find seven accurate box scores from his AAU/non-high school games in the last two years, and I combined that with stats given from 25 games he played for Sussex Hamilton this past year to find as close to a consistent stat line for PBJ as I could...

Asher Loe who covers Wisconsin basketball and recruiting said this of Baldwin:

[T]he 6-foot-9-inch [?] prospect can best be described as under control. There are nearly no moments on tape where the Hamilton star looks rushed, frazzled or like he is not playing at his own pace. In fact, he often looks like he is playing at a completely slower pace than others around him, yet he dominates games without being in a hurry.

Breaking it down: Breaking down Baldwin Jr’s strengths begins with his jump shot. When you watch the five-star prospect shoot, it almost looks as if his shot was created in a lab. His mechanics are scary good. Like NBA sharpshooter Klay Thompson-level good. He can get his shot off against almost anybody at any time. Whether it’s a pull-up 3 in transition, a quick catch-and-shoot, or an off the dribble jumper, Baldwin Jr. can cash it because of consistent mechanics and a quick trigger.

His handle is fluid and consistent for his size. There is an element of smooth in his dribble moves, and he has quite a few in the bag. The Wisconsin native has a bounce to his step with the basketball in his hands and the explosive ability to go up and over nearly all defenders at the high school level.

Brian Snow of 247 Sports had this to say about Baldwin:

Has great length and an excellent frame to add weight. At 6-foot-8, can play either forward spot and he has the ability to be a weapon from beyond the arc.There aren’t many prospects who have the combination of skill, basketball IQ, size, and athleticism. Has gotten significantly better off the dribble, and it is easy to see why he is one of the premier prospects in the class of 2021. From an NBA perspective he has not only significant 3 and D potential as a forward, but his athleticism is getting better - which could mean future star status if everything continues to come together. Add in that he is a son of a coach who has been around the game his whole life, and Baldwin checks nearly every box you could want out of a prospect. Looks like he will develop into an NBA lottery pick

The rumors of the Georgetown coaching staff being in a good mood indicates positive news may be coming, but the buzz about Baldwin and Duke is certainly disheartening.

Those following Hoyas Twitter closely can always count on Ancient Hoya for a pick-me-up:

Stay tuned.