There may already be a winner in one key Duke basketball recruiting battle.
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski has been in strong pursuit of small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. for quite some time. In fact, more than 2.5 years ago, before his sophomore season at Hamilton (Wis.), the velvety shooter became the youngest recruit in history to receive an offer from the Hall of Famer in Durham.
Now, according to Baldwin’s chat this week with Jason Jordan of SI, his mind is all but made up. Yes, the 6-foot-10, 205-pound five-star, who ranks No. 4 on the 247Sports 2021 Composite, apparently knows the clear leader — with “75 percent” certainty — to become what will probably wind up his one-and-done landing spot:
“I think I know where I would like to go. So, I’m just kinda just sitting on it right now. I think in a few weeks or a few months, I’ll be able to say 100 percent. I’ll take as much time as I would like to.”
It has been about 10 months since Baldwin named his 10 finalists: Duke, Georgetown, Kentucky, Michigan, Milwaukee, Northwestern, UCLA, UNC, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Though many seem to suspect the 18-year-old will choose to play for his father, the head coach at hometown favorite Milwaukee, both the 247Sports Crystal Ball and Rivals FutureCast have always pointed to Duke.
However, there has also been light chatter of UNC still being a legit contender. As for Baldwin’s own words, he’s reiterated across the past few months that all of his final suitors remain in the mix — that is, until this most recent comment to Jason Jordan.
Other Duke basketball recruiting efforts
Patrick Baldwin Jr., who is recovering from a season-ending ankle injury in December, could give the Blue Devils their third top-10 prize from the class. He would join five-star power forward Paolo Banchero, who ranks No. 3 overall, and five-star small forward AJ Griffin, who ranks No. 7.
Coach K and his staff are also still awaiting answers to two more 2021 offers outside of the one to Baldwin. Summarizing their standing, they are Crystal Ball frontrunners for five-star shooting guard Trevor Keels, who ranks No. 20, and longshots for five-star center Charles Bediako, who ranks No. 26.
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