Five-star Patrick Baldwin Jr. will play for dad at Milwaukee
One of the top players in the 2021 class flew off the board on Wednesday, when forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., announced his intention to sign with his father and the Milwaukee Panthers program he coaches. Below, Rivals.com has a look at the five-star prospects decision to cast aside a long list of high-major programs to put family first and play out his college career in the Horizon League.
WHAT MILWAUKEE IS GETTING
Baldwin was once ranked as the No. 1 prospect in 2021 class and remains in the top five today. He comes with excellent length and the versatility to play any forward spot. He’s gotten stronger over the last year and has the frame to carry even more muscle as he continues to develop physically. Not only is Baldwin’s a coach’s son with a great feel for the game of basketball, he’s specifically the son of his future head coach. Nobody knows Baldwin Jr.’s skill set better than Baldwin Sr, who should be able to get the most out of him by playing to his strengths during his college career. Baldwin has the upside of a future first-round pick that is unlikely to stay four years in college.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE PANTHERS
Is the program the beneficiary of bloodlines? Of course, but that doesn’t make things any less sweet for Panthers fans. Baldwin is the program's highest ranked recruit in history by a wide margin and will instantly breathe excitement into a Milwaukee team that finished last season 10-12 and has not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2014. Baldwin is the sort of prospect that should be considered for Horizon League preseason player of the year honors despite having not yet played a college game. He’s also the kind of player that can help his father turn around a 47-70 record as the school’s head coach.
IN HIS WORDS
“I don’t know where I would be without my dad and my parents, along with what his job is. It has opened up so many opportunities for me to be around players, to be at Final Fours, around so many coaches and high-level basketball.” -- Baldwin Jr. to Rivals.com in 2020
“My dad has been in my ear pretty much every day and every time that I get off the phone with coaches or get done texting them, he is always there supporting me and really Milwaukee, it is a special place for me and my dad is a special coach for me.” -- Baldwin Jr. to Rivals.com in 2020