Milwaukee Panthers 5-star recruit Patrick Baldwin Jr.

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Patrick Baldwin Jr. Photo courtesy of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

How does a mid-major program that went 10-12 last year land a 5-star recruit?

In spite of a subpar 2020-21 season in the Horizon league, Milwaukee head coach Pat Baldwin ended up landing the biggest recruit of his five year tenure; his son Patrick Baldwin Jr.

The younger Baldwin is a 6’9 freshman from Sussex, WI who was rated as a 5-star recruit with offers from the likes of Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina and dozens more. He was rated as the No.1 shooting forward in his class and the No.4 player overall yet he opted to play in the Horizon League under the tutelage of his father.

However, playing for an under the radar program like Milwaukee hasn’t lessened interest in the young phenom who is still projected as a potential first round pick in the 2022 NBA draft.

Baldwin Jr. was added to the Lou Henson Award watch list along with the watch list for the 2021-22 Lute Olson National Player of the Year award, which is presented annually to the top player in college basketball.

Baldwin Jr. is the highest-ranked high school recruit to ever sign in the Horizon League and he was also included as a preseason first team All-Conference selection.

The Horizon League is very tough league that features much more experienced and older players than many of the major conferences like the ACC or SEC and so Baldwin’s decision to play for his father at Milwaukee will no doubt still be an excellent learning ground for the young superstar.

In spite of Milwaukee featuring a talent like Baldwin Jr. defending champions Cleveland State were voted as the preseason favourites in the Horizon League for the first time since 2009.

Milwaukee was rated as the preseason No.4 team in the Horizon but Patrick Baldwin Jr. has made the Panthers must watch TV throughout the 2021-22 season.

Milwaukee tips off the season tonight on the road at North Dakota at 8 p.m. ET.