Category Archives: Duke Basketball Recruiting News

Patrick Baldwin Jr. Visits Duke

The Duke Blue Devils entertained elite prospect, Patrick Baldwin Jr., during yesterday's in over Virginia Tech in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Baldwin is one of the best players in the Class of 2021 and he has long drawn the attention of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.

Now standing 6-10, Baldin is skilled beyond his years and smooth even when facing triple teams at the high school level Baldwin has become coach's dream.

The rising star has ties to Northwestern where his Dad was dubbed, the "Man of Steel." This, of course, has made him a major target for former Duke player and assistant coach Chris Collins.

As it turns out, his Pops, also named Pat, captained three Northwestern teams in the early nineties. He stood 6-1 and he met Parick's mom, Shawn, a volleyball star who was 6-2.

The result of their union is their son Patrick, one of the more versatile players in the country which has earned him a place with the nation's top tier prospects.

His Dad has gone on to coach UW-Milwaukee after stints at Loyola and Northwestern. So, there is some pull to stay with the family.

But the Baldwins know that playing under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke is a great opportunity, thus this weekend visit took place. And make no mistake about it, he is a major priority for the Blue Devils staff which feels he falls right in line with stretch fours past and more.

Growing up in a coach's family makes him an ideal fit for Duke. He is their type of prospect. He has a solid basketball I.Q. and works hard to better his skills while on his journey.

Another thing which could bode well for the Blue Devils is his friendship with Max Christie. Duke has long been on both these guys and wants them as part of the cornerstone for their next great class.

Duke has had tremendous success in getting players to the NBA without holding them back or trying to keep them in the program. This is another area that makes their offer a coveted one.

And it goes without saying that Patrick has been an early part of the USA Basketball program and the Blue Devils have the man who steadied the machine after it took a step back.

With the Northwestern lineage in the family, there is little doubt, Patrick, values education. But it is no secret that this young man will make his initial money playing basketball professionally.

Duke offers him the best of both worlds with hoops and education, but other schools are still trying to get in the picture before it is too late.

Kentucky and many others have kicked the wheels on Baldwin, but this one may come down to playing with family or in a familiar situation like Northwestern or Duke.

Baldwin has also visited North Carolina and Roy Williams has been up to see him. And of course, Marquette, Wisconsin and a bevy of other schools have offered.

Baldwin could make an impact no matter where he goes to school. But if his dream is to possibly play for a national title, Duke may in time be his choice.

Baldwin once visited the Duke Basketball Camp, so he has some familiarity with the campus and program. The staff surely showed off some of the nation's finest facilities during his weekend visit while making him aware that he is a major piece of the future should he come to Durham.

While Cameron may not have been its usual raucous self due to an early knockout punch of Virginia Tech yesterday, the Crazies did call the budding star over to sit with them, or to be technically correct, stand with them.

Baldwin, like other stellar prospects before him, caught Coach K's eyes early on. As good as he is, Baldwin is only scratching the surface of what he will become in college and one day, the NBA.

One thing that's clear is Krzyzewski and his staff desire to work with Baldwin and help him while being a part of his journey. Stay tuned for more on this developing story.

Duke Basketball covets players who have played in the Team USA Basketball system.
Baldwin most recently set a scoring record for Sussex.

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Duke Hoops Making Offers

The Duke Men's Basketball staff has been busy during the break between games. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski and his assistant coaches have been on the road to visit both commitments and prospects at various high school basketball events.

There is a lot to unpack here. The Blue Devils crew most recently visited the National High School Hoops Festival where they were taking a look at next years, incoming point guard, Jeremy Roach.

Roach had been sidelined since a season ago due to injury, so there were many wanting to see his first few games this season and how he'd respond. Well, the good news for Duke fans is he is showing off his high ranking and that he is back to being the type of player who gained a Duke offer.

What many did not expect to see was the stellar play of his Paul VI teammate, Trevor Keels. The 6-5 junior shooting guard from Fairfax, Virginia put on a show in front of Krzyzewski and that led to the latest Duke offer.

The Duke staff was also pleased with the play of IMG Academy's Mark Williams. The future Blue Devils big man showed off an improved game from this summer as he steadily gets better. Williams team, minus his teammate and fellow Duke commitment Jalen Johnson lost to Paul VI in a hotly contested game.

The improvement of Williams has drawn attention as he could now be a candidate for being one and done at the college level. And that had something to do with another recent Duke offer to Canadian junior, Charles Bediako.

Standing at 6-10, Bediako could possibly reclassify per some. But regardless of whether he enters the class of 2020 or remains a 2021 prospect, the Duke staff liked what they saw from the talented and potential laden Bediako. Duke has been determined to keep mining Canada for basketball prospects after their turn with RJ Barrett.

Duke has also offered another highly ranked junior in point guard Kennedy Chandler on Tuesday of this week. Chandler has a long list of suitors which includes their rival just down the road. Chandler led Mokan Elite to a solid season on the Nike EYBL circuit.

The Blue Devils also have standing offers to Patrick Baldwin and Max Christie and there are good relations with both of these top-end prospects. Duke is also heavily in the mix for Johnathan Kuminga. And, of course, the Blue Devils have a verbal commitment from highly rated AJ Griffin.

Duke is likely not finished with new offers, but they are quickly identifying players they want to be a part of their future core group. The staff will be on the road in December for more high school basketball tournaments.

This is also the time of year when the staff will work on both some unofficial and official visits and perhaps even setting up in-home visits. So, when the fanbase is taking this long break between games, as usual, Duke Basketball never stops.

This year's team returns to the court on December the 19th to take on Wofford. With Louisville, Maryland and Michigan all losing, Duke, ranked 5th in the coaches poll, is poised to ascend in the rankings.

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Duke Hoops Signs Talented Class

DURHAM, N.C. โ€“
 Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has announced the signing of six future Blue Devils during the NCAA's early-signing period. The class is ranked No. 2 according to ESPN, which would give Duke's signing classes a top-two ranking in each of the last seven seasons.

Jaemyn BrakefieldHenry Coleman III, Jalen Johnson, Jeremy Roach, D.J. Steward and Mark Williams will enter the Duke program for the 2020-21 season. Duke's previous top-ranked classes in the ESPN 100 came in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018, while the 2016 and 2019 classes were ranked No. 2.

Jaemyn Brakefield โ€“ 6-8 โ€“ 215 โ€“ Forward โ€“ Jackson, Miss. โ€“ Huntington Prep (W.Va.)

  • A five-star power forward
  • Ranked as the No. 23 overall player in ESPN 100's rankings for the class of 2020
  • Ranked as the No. 1 player in the state of West Virginia and the No. 5 player at his position in the ESPN 100
  • Played for Team Phenom University in the EYBL with fellow Duke signee Jalen Johnson and averaged 15.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists last summer with two double-doubles
  • Committed to Duke on October 4, 2019
  • Chose the Blue Devils over Louisville, Michigan and Auburn, among others

Henry Coleman III โ€“ 6-7 โ€“ 210 โ€“ Forward โ€“ Richmond, Va. โ€“ Trinity Episcopal School

  • A four-star power forward
  • Ranked as the No. 42 player overall in ESPN 100's rankings for the class of 2020
  • Also ranked as the No. 5 player in the state of Virginia and the No. 8 at his position in the ESPN 100
  • Averaged 18.2 points and 6.4 rebounds this past summer on the Nike EYBL circuit for Team Loaded
  • Is senior class president at Trinity Episcopal School
  • Committed to Duke on September 27, 2019
  • Chose the Blue Devils over Michigan, NC State, Virginia Tech and Ohio State, among others

Jalen Johnson โ€“ 6-8 โ€“ 215 โ€“ Forward โ€“ Glendale, Wisc. โ€“ IMG Academy (Fla.)

  • A five-star small forward
  • Ranked as the No. 4 overall player in ESPN 100's rankings for the class of 2020
  • Ranked No. 1 in the state of Florida and No. 1 at his position in the ESPN 100
  • Led Nicolet HS in Glendale, Wisc., to a state championship last season before transferring to IMG Academy for his senior campaign
  • Played for Team Phenom University in the EYBL with fellow Duke signee Jaemyn Brakefield and averaged 17.2 points, 9.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists last summer with five double-doubles
  • Committed to Duke on July 4, 2019
  • Chose the Blue Devils over Arizona, Kentucky and Wisconsin, among others

Jeremy Roach โ€“ 6-2 โ€“ 180 โ€“ Guard โ€“ Leesburg, Va. โ€“ Paul VI HS

  • A five-star point guard
  • Ranked as the No. 15 player overall in ESPN 100's ranking for the class of 2020
  • Also ranked second in the state of Virginia and ranked third overall at his position in the ESPN 100
  • Missed his junior season of high school (ACL)
  • Played for Team Takeover in the Nike EYBL and averaged 6.6 points and 3.1 assists in the summer of 2018
  • Has won a pair of gold medals with USA Basketball โ€“ at the 2017 FIBA Americas U-16 and the 2018 FIBA U-17 World Cup
  • Was the starting point guard for the U-17 team and averaged 6.4 points and 2.7 assists
  • The first five-star player in the class of 2020 to announce his commitment, committing to Duke on May 8, 2019
  • Chose the Blue Devils over Kentucky, North Carolina and Villanova, among others

D.J. Steward โ€“ 6-3 โ€“ 175 โ€“ Guard โ€“ Chicago, Ill. โ€“ Whitney Young HS

  • A five-star combo guard
  • Ranked as the No. 26 player overall in ESPN 100's ranking for the class of 2020
  • Also ranked second in the state of Illinois and ranked seventh overall at his position in the ESPN 100
  • Averaged 24.1 points and shot 41 percent from three-point range in the summer of 2019 for Team MeanStreets on the Nike EYBL circuit
  • Attended the same high school as former Blue Devil Jahlil Okafor
  • Committed to Duke on September 18, 2019
  • Chose the Blue Devils over North Carolina, Louisville, Indiana and Texas, among others

Mark Williams โ€“ 7-0 โ€“ 230 โ€“ Center โ€“ Norfolk, Va. โ€“ IMG Academy (Fla.)

  • A four-star center
  • Ranked as the No. 30 overall player in ESPN 100's rankings for the class of 202
  • Ranked No. 4 in the state of Florida and as the No. 5 center in the ESPN 100
  • Played three years at Norfolk Academy before transferring to IMG Academy for his senior season
  • On the Nike EYBL circuit, played for Team Boo Williams and averaged 14.8 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game, while shooting 64 percent from the field
  • Improved his numbers to 23.5 points, 12.0 rebounds and 76 percent shooting at the Peach Jam
  • His older sister, Elizabeth, played for Duke from 2011-15 and now plays for the WNBA's Atlanta Dream
  • Committed to Duke on November 2, 2019
  • Chose the Blue Devils over UCLA and Michigan, among others.

Mark Williams Joins Duke Brotherhood

Duke added their sixth commitment to their 2020 recruiting class when Mark Williams of IMG Academy picked Duke over Michigan and UCLA.

Willams started his summer off as a top 50 player but his stellar play helped him ascend in the rankings where he is now seen as a top 30 prospect. The Virginia native transferred to IMG Academy after his Nike EYBL season where he played for Boo Williams.

Duke was n desperate need for frontcourt help before William's commitment. The Blue Devils offer immediate playing time with the expected losses of seniors Javin DeLauraer and Jack White and the likelihood that Matthew Hurt and Vernon Carey will enter the NBA Draft.

Williams is familiar with the Duke campus in that his sister, Elizabeth, had her jersey retired after a stellar career with the Duke women's program.

The Blue Devil to be cut a long list of schools down to three in early September and Duke was on the list. The Blue Devils offered Williams in late April and remained very active from him since that time.

Willams will join one of the nation's top recruiting classes. That class includes DJ Steward, Jaemyn Brakefield, Jalen Johnson, Jeremy Roach, and Henry Coleman.

Many of the aforementioned in-coming players were active in recruiting Williams. He most recently visited Duke for his official visit during Countdown for Craziness with IMG Academy teammate Jalen Johnson.

Blue Devil Nation members long knew Williams was a Duke lean but the process needed to play out. Duke still wants and needs another big man in this class and they currently have an offer out to Hunter Dickinson.

Recap of Recent Duke Prospect Visitors

The Duke Blue Devils secured three prospects and two commitments this past weekend during Countdown to Craziness.

The Duke staff entertained 2020 center prospect Hunter Dickinson on his official visit. Dickinson is expected to make a decision in the near future.

Duke also had a visit from 2021 standout Paolo Banchero who is expected at this time to remain with his class. Banchero has a long list of suitors. He did make this tweet pictured in a Duke uniform -

The Blue Devils also had a visit from 2021 New York standout AJ Griffin. We look forward to seeing him back for an official visit to Cameron and Duke.

Also attending the festivities were verbal commitments Henry Coleman and Jaemyn Brakefield.

Hunter Dickinson
AJ Griffin (L) and Paolo Banchero (R)

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Left to right, AJ, Jaemyn. Paolo, Henry, and Hunter with the Crazies. Photo copyrights Blue Devil Nation.