Patrick Baldwin Jr. Betting On Himself, His Father... And The Horizon
The Pac-12 Is Back... ?!
Tell me if you heard this one before. Well, don’t truly tell me since you technically have, but writing a lede is hard and god damnit Robbie stop being such an asshole.
A No. 4 ranked prospect, who is considered a top 10 prospect in the NBA Draft, bypasses offers from programs like the Duke Blue Devils to go play for the famed… Milwaukee Panthers of the Horizon League.
Oh. You didn’t stop me. That’s on you.
Patrick Baldwin Jr. is doing the insane, even if his reasons are rational.
A five-star prospect who is certainly an NBA-level player, I’m at a loss despite also understanding his point of view. One of the nation’s best high school talents chose his father — a career sub-500 coach — over Coach K.
Maybe the vampiric vibes were too much?
I can go on and on about how bonkers this is from the outside; though this is nepotism done best in the name of chaos… and I fucking love chaos.
"I will be playing for my dad at Milwaukee," Patrick Baldwin Jr. told ESPN. "I had some great options, which made me not rush through the process. The thought of playing for my dad was too good to pass up. In today's day and age, you see mid-majors having great success, most recently Loyola and Oral Roberts."
The Horizon is decidedly not the ACC, Big East, or Pac-12. Baldwin Jr. entering the confines of the low-major would be similar to a former college basketball star like Joel Embiid if he chose Maine over Kansas.
A 6-foot-9 forward who can do a bit of everything, one would expect the youngster to dominate at a lower level of college hoops, but this commitment is coming with great risk.
To put it bluntly: No matter the stats or how dominant he looks, Baldwin Jr. needs to help his father win a lot of games all while showing to NBA scouts it doesn’t matter that he’s bully-balling some 6-foot-6 former three-star recruit.
Honestly, I give zero fucks about the NBA Draft side of things. If Baldwin Jr. is as good as projected, scouts will figure it out. Unless he bombs playing in the Horizon, his stock will be just fine — and if he does implode, perhaps it meant he was overvalued anyway.
In terms of college basketball, holy shit this is awesome. With a single announcement, a kid made an irrelevant program a must-watch, elevating an entire league because his father coaches a team within it.
God. I hope my kids exceed my abilities so they come back to save me as the decomposing corpses of a blogger I’m morphing into. No pressure, DinoTaker and Crabby Giraffe!
I no longer watch high school tape on kids. In turn, you won’t find in-depth breakdowns on the the dynamo here. We’re solely relying upon grassroots gurus for information… and they adore the bluechip prospect.
Probably in unhealthy ways, if we’re being honest.
Baldwin Jr. is a probable one-and-done player. Even if he stays at Milwaukee for a lone season, assuming the gurus are correct, he shifted the power in both the Horizon and some — not all — of the sport’s landscape.
Senior should be glad he’s got some good genes coursing through his body. He’s barely averaged over 10 wins a season over the last three years. Junior is about to save his job and help him secure the bag.
Pac-12 Has A New Commissioner
On Thursday, the Pac-12 revealed the league’s new commissioner. It’s a relatively unknown guy named George Kliavkoff. Surely this will work out fantastically!
Reports are still coming out about the Pac-12’s new main man at the time of this writing. It appears he has a deep background in Las Vegas-related endeavors, including a stint with MGM and some other gambling connections.
If the Pac-12 becomes THE LEAGUE that just goes all-in on gambling, I’m not sure how I’ll feel about that, as I already hate every three-decades-in journalist who randomly pretended as though they knew about vigs two years ago.
Anyway, it’s dumb to judge an unknown like this. It would be unwise. Jokes… they are welcomed!
What I will say, however, is this is an outside-the-box hiring people can spin in a ton of different directions, especially since he has no direct connection to college sports.
Nevertheless, we agree with this sentiment: If anyone calls him an “agent of chaos” or a “disruptor” or any other galaxy brain Silicon Valley buzzwords, we can just call it a day with him.
Joseph Nardone covered college basketball for nearly a decade at various outlets. He’s now writing fiction because he’s a fucking idiot and a glutton for punishment. Twitter is @JosephNardone. If you say mean things to him, he’ll just yell at his ceiling.