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Duke Recruiting: Patrick Baldwin Intel

A look at his recruitment from a Kentucky perspective

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Duke
 Feb 22, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Duke Blue Devils recruit Patrick Baldwin Jr. (in black) watches with Duke students during the second half against the Virginia Tech Hokiesat Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

We always like to look at sites that follow other teams to get a different take on recruiting.

Take this Kentucky.com look at Duke target Patrick Baldwin. Someone wrote in to basically say they’d hate to see Duke get Baldwin and the writer, Ben Roberts, said this:

“The schadenfreude remains strong when it comes to the UK-Duke recruiting rivalry.

“First off, yes, Kentucky fans shouldn’t get their hopes up on Baldwin...[H]e just seems a good fit for that program....That said, I would not be surprised at all if he chooses to stay home and play for Milwaukee, where his father is the head coach. Asking around over the past few weeks, that’s a stance shared by others in recruiting circles.”

He might and you can’t blame a kid when his dad is a coach, and a good coach at that. Still, Duke has a pretty strong shot and a killer closing argument.

Or at least we think they do.

When you look at Coach K’s career at Duke, and particularly the last 10 years, we think he could easily go into a recruit’s home and say something like this:

“Look, you can play at any school in the country. Everyone wants you. You’re that good. However, we can offer something that no one else can.

“Our research shows that playing for Duke pushes your personal branding much higher. The total income for Duke players in the NBA, counting endorsements, is (fill in the blank) higher than it is for players who went to, say, Kentucky or UNC.

“You can’t currently get paid, but your time at Duke does more to build your personal brand than any where else you can go.

“You’ll be on TV constantly. Your Q score will be off the charts. It’s deferred income, but playing at Duke could improve your income in your rookie season by (fill in the blank) percent and by (fill in the blank) percent.

“We will help you to improve for when you’re ready to go and our program consistently wins a lot. There is nowhere better to prepare for an NBA career than Duke.”

Or not. It’s not like we get a ride-along on recruiting visits and what happens could be entirely different. Indeed, we can imagine Coach K saying that pitch is stupid and counterproductive.

But assuming you do your due diligence as a recruit, it’s pretty clear that Duke does offer opportunities that other schools can’t match.

However, if staying with your family a little longer is more important to you than what Duke could offer, then no one could blame the kid for that. It’s a miss for Duke for sure, but what could you say? Family is family.

Also worth noting: “The Blue Devils are the consensus favorite for No. 16 Trevor Keels.“