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Patrick Baldwin Jr. commits to UW-Milwaukee over Duke as projected top-10 NBA draft pick

The five-star recruit is playing for his father at UW-Milwaukee next season.

Column Greenstein Brian O’Mahoney/Pioneer Press/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

One of country’s top unsigned college basketball recruits has announced he’s committing to UW-Milwaukee. Patrick Baldwin Jr., a 6’9 shooter out of Sussex, WI, committed to play for the Panthers over offers from Duke and Georgetown. Baldwin’s father has been the head coach at UW-Milwaukee the last four seasons.

Baldwin Jr. is rated as the No. 4 overall player in the class of 2021, according to the 247 Sports composite rankings. He is expected to jump to the NBA after a one-and-done season in college, with ESPN currently projecting him as the No. 8 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

Baldwin Jr. is coming off a left ankle injury that ended his senior year in the second game of his season at Hamilton High School. He was named Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior, and has been considered one of the top prospects in his class from the moment rankings were released for his age group.

Baldwin Jr. may be the highest rated recruit to ever commit to the Horizon League. The Panthers have finished under .500 in each of the last four seasons with head coach Pat Baldwin at the helm, but now they’re adding their best player in program history.

Duke could have had three potential top-10 picks in the 2022 NBA Draft if Baldwin committed. The Blue Devils already have pledges from projected No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero as well as 6’8 forward Adrian Griffin Jr.

Patrick Baldwin Jr. scouting report and highlights

Baldwin Jr. is known as one of the best shooters in high school basketball. Combine his shooting ability with his 6’9 frame, and it’s easy to see why he’s considered a top NBA prospect.

Baldwin Jr. looks like an ideal stretch four in the NBA. He will likely function as a floor space and movement shooter in the league as he develops his ball handling ability. Baldwin Jr. isn’t considered an elite athlete, but his size and shooting will play at any level.

By committing to Milwaukee, Baldwin Jr. will have the opportunity to play with the ball in his hands and show he can be a primary scoring option as his career develops. He’ll also have an opportunity to show he can elevate the program defensively. The Panthers finished No. 180 in the country in offensive efficiency last season, while finishing No. 271 in defensive efficiency.

Here are highlights of Baldwin Jr. in action playing for his high school and on the grassroots circuit.

Baldwin Jr. was named a McDonald’s All-American in 2021 despite the injury. The onus on Baldwin Jr. to carry his team offensively should ultimately be beneficial for his development. It will be fascinating to see an NBA recruit of this caliber in the Horizon League.