Duke basketball: Five-star sharpshooter plans to visit Blue Devils

Duke basketball mascot (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Duke basketball mascot (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

An oh-so-silky high school shooter recently spoke about his Duke basketball admirers, mentioning his intention to soon take a trip to Durham.

With five entered picks to date, the 247Sports Crystal Ball for Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. unanimously forecasts the 6-foot-10, 205-pound five-star shooting star to eventually join the Duke basketball family.

Need concrete evidence that Baldwin Jr. — who ranks No. 2 on the 247Sports 2021 Composite and in July 2018, prior to his sophomore year, became the all-time youngest recipient of an offer from Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski — is indeed interested in learning more about the Blue Devils? Check out his comments from the Highland Shootout in Illinois over the weekend to Rivals’ Eric Bossi:

“Right now I’m kind of thinking of taking some [unofficial visits]. I don’t want to take any officials this year because it’s kind of later in the [season] and that would be too much. I would definitely like to get out to Duke…”

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Baldwin Jr. — the 17-year-old holds a few dozen offers, including from his namesake, Pat Baldwin, who is a former Northwestern guard and the current Wisconsin-Milwaukee head coach — also outlined to Bossi the Duke coaches’ appealing pitch:

“They understand that my class is one that has a lot of continuity with each other; we know each other, and we are good friends with each other. They want to bring in a class where we can all be comfortable with each other, play off each other, and help each other throughout our college careers.”

Granted, Baldwin Jr. — whose gooseneck 3-point follow-throughs, slithering drives, and graceful handles bring to mind former Duke basketball great Mike Dunleavy — also had nice things to say about his dad, naturally, in addition to his suitors from Kansas, Kentucky, and Northwestern.

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Potentially most worrisome to the Duke basketball recruiters is what Baldwin Jr. told Bossi about one advantage for Kansas:

“[The Jayhawks] stand very high because playing in front of [family] in Kansas, that’s something that you can’t really create. Playing in front of them and having them one or two hours away is something that is important to me.”

Apparently, though, of utmost importance to Baldwin Jr. — who informed Bossi that he doesn’t intend to name finalists until at least summer but does hope to sign in the fall —  are two factors:

“Player development and the players around me, I think those are the two most important things to me.”

The lone junior to have committed to developing his game as a Blue Devil, Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) five-star small forward A.J. Griffin, remains the only one of 2021’s top 50 prospects to have announced a college choice.

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In addition to Baldwin Jr., the Duke basketball staff has unanswered 2021 offers out to Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.) five-star point guard Kennedy Chandler, Paul VI Catholic (Va.) four-star shooting guard Trevor Keels, Rolling Meadows (Ill.) five-star shooting guard Max Christie, The Patrick School (N.J.) five-star small forward Jonathan Kuminga, O’Dea (Was.) five-star power forward Paolo Banchero, and Andrews Osborne Academy (Ohio) four-star center Charles Bediako.

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