A consensus top-five prospect chose the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee over Duke. How did Duke, who already has a top-three class get beat out by a mid-major program? Well, the father of Patrick Baldwin Jr is UW-Milwaukee’s head coach. It all of a sudden looks more clear. Now it is every kid’s dream to play for their father. However, most kids don’t have to turn down Mike Krzyzewski in order to do so, so why did Baldwin?
Baldwin was the youngest player to ever be offered by Coach K. That is a big honor and Duke seemed to be the leader during most of the recruitment. However, when the pandemic hit, things seemed to turn in a big way. My personal belief for this would be because he woke up in the same house and was able to talk to his dad every day. This could be used as a recruitment tactic, while Coach K and every other recruiter had to adapt to the virtual recruitment. Duke as well as Georgetown seemed to try and make a late push but both came up short in the end.
What Does It Mean For UW Milwaukee?
Well, it means they get a player who will come in and be the best player in the conference and its program’s history. Also, Baldwin Sr. had a job that seemed to ride on this recruitment. The most recent rumblings were that UW Milwaukee was holding out on a contract extension until the Baldwin recruitment had ended.
With a 47-70 record in four seasons as the coach and never finishing better than fifth in the conference, a job after this year for Baldwin Sr. might not be likely without his son because the team lost their top three players.
What Does This Mean For Duke?
Well, it hurts that they lost a very talented player, who would join a team that will be competing for a national championship due to his skills but they seem to be just fine with the way their squad looks as of now. They will still compete for a national title while returning key players like Jeremy Roach and Mark Williams while adding yet another elite recruiting class.
What Does It Mean For Patrick Baldwin Jr.?
He should go and have no trouble with the competition in his conference. I am excited to see is what the out-of-conference schedule looks like. That is where Baldwin could play teams that will test him a lot more. In all likelihood, Baldwin will be a one-and-done player and a future lottery pick. Of course, the questions of competition will be there but will NBA teams use that to pass up on him? A modern stretch four that has a very polished scoring ability on top of a good frame? I doubt it due to other players that have come from mid-majors being drafted highly. Ones with more questions than Baldwin has.
I am very excited to see how this plays out. We rarely, if ever, see a player of Baldwin’s caliber drop down to a mid-major. This should be very fun to watch as he should dominate early and maybe give the fans a few gems to watch over the years.