After a difficult freshman season, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee wing Patrick Baldwin Jr. is one of the more fascinating prospects in the 2022 NBA draft.
Baldwin was a five-star and top-10 overall recruit, and he was once even considered the top overall recruit in the class. One glimpse at the Cerebro Sports database makes it pretty clear why.
The 6-foot-10 wing was a breakout star while playing AAU basketball. He averaged 26.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.7 steals, 1.2 steals, and 1.0 blocks per 40 minutes while playing for Phenom University on the NIKE EYBL circuit in 2019.
Baldwin also represented Team USA during the U19 World Cup in 2021. He averaged 17.9 points, 11.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.0 steal, and 1.3 blocks per 40 en route to a gold medal.
He had several notable high-major opportunities, and he was even the youngest player ever to receive a scholarship offer from Coach K at Duke.
However, Baldwin turned down those offers to play for his father, Patrick Baldwin Sr., on the Milwaukee Panthers in the Horizon League. In the process, Baldwin also became the highest-rated recruit in conference history.
2022 NBA Draft Scouting Report: Patrick Baldwin Jr.
The UW-Milwaukee wing had a rough, injury-riddled season that saw him drop from top-five hopeful to borderline first-rounder. Can a change of roles benefit him in the NBA?https://t.co/NuXBz46pb9
— The Box and One (@TheBoxAndOne_) February 25, 2022
Unfortunately, it was a rough freshman campaign for Baldwin. Due to ankle issues and COVID, he had limited action, appearing in just 11 games while at the university. Baldwin played his final game for the Panthers on Feb. 9, and his father was fired as head coach on March 2.
Even though he had a rough season, there is still plenty of reason to believe in his long-term trajectory. Baldwin is a lengthy wing who can shoot, which is an archetype coveted around the league.
For The Win spoke with Baldwin to learn more about his reflections on the previous year, how he can contribute well even with less of an offensive load in the NBA, and plenty more.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
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