UNC Basketball: Nation’s top recruit discusses Roy Williams, Tar Heels

Sussex Hamilton forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. collides with Brookfield Central forward Malik Abdul-Wahid (24) as Andrew Rohde also defends during a game on Feb. 14, 2020.Rs5a0152
Sussex Hamilton forward Patrick Baldwin Jr. collides with Brookfield Central forward Malik Abdul-Wahid (24) as Andrew Rohde also defends during a game on Feb. 14, 2020.Rs5a0152 /

Nation’s No. 1-ranked prospect discusses his recruitment, relationship with Roy Williams and the UNC basketball program

The North Carolina Tar Heels are among 10 teams battling for a commitment from Patrick Baldwin, Jr., a standout senior wing at Hamilton High School in Sussex, Wisconsin. The other nine programs that make up Baldwin’s list are Duke, Georgetown, Kentucky, Michigan, Northwestern, UCLA, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The Tar Heels are largely considered an underdog in Baldwin’s recruitment, with most believing that it’s either Duke or Wisconsin-Milwaukee that will ultimately earn his commitment. You wouldn’t know it from listening to Baldwin talk about the Tar Heels, though, as he had great things to say both about the team, and their Hall-of-Fame head coach in a recent interview with 247Sports national recruiting analyst Eric Bossi.

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"“. . . They’ve done a great job so far,” Baldwin told Bossi of the Tar Heels’ recruitment of him. “They’ve actually been one of the more consistently communicating staffs. Coach Williams and Coach (Steve) Robinson have done a great job so far. Even though I can’t visit they’ve been putting me in the practice scenarios, really talking through their roster and the different things they could do. Also, virtual tours on campus has been super special. They’ve done a really good job of filling in everything I’ve missed not being able to take visits.”"

Baldwin also spoke about his family’s ties to Roy Williams dating back to when he was head coach of the Kansas Jayhawks. Williams recruited Baldwin’s father, Pat, when he was attending Leavenworth High School. He ultimately turned Williams down, and committed to Northwestern. That obviously has a lot to do with why Baldwin included Northwestern on his list of potential schools.

Baldwin’s father is now the head coach at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which is why the Panthers are considered such a strong contender. And then there’s Duke, the program that appears to be the one thing that could stop the Baldwin’s from having a family reunion in their home state next year. Just about everyone seems to think that Baldwin ends up in Durham next fall, evidenced by the consensus among recruiting analysts from both 247Sports and Rivals that have picked Duke as his eventual landing spot.

Still, the Tar Heels remain somewhere in the forefront of Baldwin’s recruitment, even if they aren’t the frontrunners. I have to think that North Carolina will make the cut the next time Baldwin trims his list down. After that, though, all bets are off.

Baldwin looks and feels like a future Blue Devil, but we’ve thought that before and been wrong. Could that be the case again this time, or will Baldwin be the latest top prospect to one-and-done his way through college with a quick stop in Durham on his way to the NBA?

Next. Friday is decision day for 5-star Jabari Smith. Will he pick UNC?. dark

Check back with Keeping It Heel for all the latest on the Patrick Baldwin, Jr. recruitment, and all things UNC basketball.