The wait for an announcement for 5-star forward Patrick Baldwin, Jr. from Wisconsin appears to be over. An announcement will be made on ESPN at 10:30AM ET (likely a bit later) and the decision appears to come down to three schools.
Recruiting News ⁰⁰Patrick Baldwin Jr. will make his college announcement tomorrow (May 12) at 10:30 AM ET/9:30 CT on @SportsCenter.⁰⁰Baldwin is ESPN's No. 4 prospect in the class of 2021 and is choosing between Georgetown, Duke and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.— Paul Biancardi (@PaulBiancardi) May 11, 2021
Baldwin was said to be choosing from a list of about 10 schools, including Duke and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where his father coaches. Georgetown seems still solidly in the final three.
The rumors have been wild for a few weeks now (see Hilltop Hoops), including suggestions that Baldwin’s father’s job status might be changing, but it’s great to see Georgetown still listed as a possibility.
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, with the assist of recruiting from incoming prospects like Paolo Banchero, Trevor Keels, and AJ Griffin.
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.
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:
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 about Baldwin and Duke recruits is certainly a little worrisome, but the ambiguity of Milwaukee and Duke fans/insiders is perplexing.
Could Pat Baldwin Jr. really schedule an ESPN announcement to proclaim that he is coming to Georgetown and Patrick Ewing? Could such a coup really happen?
Y’all ready?— Patrick Baldwin Jr. (@_pbaldwin23) May 11, 2021
Again, #Hoyas Twitter can always count on Ancient Hoya for a boost:
And why I tweeted Hoyas this morning, carry on— G (@AncientHoya33) May 11, 2021
UPDATE 5/12: Baldwin chose Milwaukee over Duke and Georgetown.
2021 5⭐️ recruit Patrick Baldwin Jr. has committed to play for his father at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.— Beyond The Bleachers (@BeyondBleachers) May 12, 2021
Baldwin chose UVM over Georgetown and Duke.
( via @TiptonEdits) pic.twitter.com/msjeWwhtjN
MILWAUKEE!— Dan Molloy (@DanMolloyTV) May 12, 2021
Sussex Hamilton’s Patrick Baldwin Jr. commits to play for the Panthers, where his father is head coach. Baldwin chooses UWM over Duke and Georgetown. pic.twitter.com/zJLHceLRiQ