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Sidelined with Season-Ending Injury, SI99 Wing Patrick Baldwin Jr. Focused on Recruitment

Baldwin's father is the head coach at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Patrick Baldwin Jr. is always baffled at the rumors that circulate regarding his recruitment. Baldwin and his family have been tight-lipped throughout the process, giving way to rampant speculation on social media; so, yes, he’s aware of the two most gossipy storylines that have him secretly down to UW-Milwaukee and Northwestern or UW-Milwaukee and Duke.

“It’s weird because I just feel like people just straight make things up,” Baldwin said. “I’ve never said it’s a two-horse race, so, of course, that’s not true. I mean I could see where the speculations came from, I mean Duke offered me when I was a freshman, and my dad is obviously at Milwaukee. It’s definitely not a two-horse race, but they’re definitely strong candidates.”

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In May, Baldwin cut his list of colleges to 10: Duke, Georgetown, Kentucky, Michigan, Northwestern, North Carolina, UCLA, UW-Milwaukee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

He’ll have plenty of time to connect with the coaches now that he’s sidelined “for the next 2-3 months” with torn ligaments and bruising in his ankle. Baldwin sustained the injury during the second game of the season against Menomonee Falls (Wis.).

“I went up for a layup in transition and there was a bunch of congestion around my feet when I landed and I fell straight on my ankle,” Baldwin said. “I had to go to the ER and they gave me a boot. I’ll be out, but the good news is that there won’t be any long-term issues, which is super good. It’s still frustrating because I’m away from the game I love and my team.”

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Baldwin quietly dominant summer with Phenom University (Wis.), averaging 20 points over 24 games and leading Phenom to a 22-2 record.

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His average is even more impressive when you consider that most of their games were with 15-minute running clocks, a standard for most tournaments this summer to streamline games.

“I’ve been talking to coaches pretty much every day, whereas before I was doing it once or twice a week,” Baldwin said. “I don’t have a timeline for a decision, but February or March sounds the most realistic. That’s about as far out as I’ll push it. I’m just enjoying the conversations with the coaches right now; they’re so interesting.”

Like the one Baldwin had with Kentucky coach John Calipari about Tyler Herro, where Baldwin learned the intricacies about what makes Herro unique.

“I knew about Herro when he was in Wisconsin, obviously,” Baldwin said. “I never understood how differently wired he is. I’m enjoying getting stories and perspectives like that right now. That’s part of what makes it tough too. They all have a great chance at this point, so it’s really gonna come down to which school I feel is just right for me, and I definitely don’t know that right now.”