Duke basketball: Three new clues in Patrick Baldwin Jr. chase

Duke basketball (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

Does evidence show Duke basketball as the favorite for Patrick Baldwin Jr.?

Four of the past seven recruiting cycles (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018) have ended with the Duke basketball program atop the 247Sports Team Rankings, leading to an NCAA Championship and two Elite Eight runs. Per the final composite rankings, three of those four hauls included the nation’s No. 1 recruit (Jahlil Okafor in 2014, Marvin Bagley III in 2017, RJ Barrett in 2018).

If Mike Krzyzewski and his staff are to possibly match such feats with regards to their 2021 class — assuming the 247Sports Composite doesn’t change at the top — then they’ll need Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. to join their two top 10 pledges in O’Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero (No. 3) and Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) small forward AJ Griffin (No. 6).

Rankings aside, the mixtapes are proof enough that Baldwin Jr. is a supreme talent. His shooting stroke is picture-perfect. His ballhandling, passing, and footwork are as refined as anyone could expect from a 17-year-old. Add to all that his 6-foot-10 frame, his noted maturity, his natural versatility, and the fact he’s the namesake of a Division I head coach.

But speaking of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Patrick Baldwin Sr., is he the frontrunner to land the five-star services of his son? And when should folks expect to find out for sure where Baldwin Jr. plans to head for what looks to be a one-and-done college campaign? With those questions in mind, let’s look at three new clues, beginning with some recent comments from the recruit himself…