2022 Draft Watch: First Evaluation of Patrick Baldwin Jr.

May 9th, 2021

By Alan Lu

I decided to take the time to watch Sussex Hamilton’s 6-9 forward, Patrick Baldwin Jr. play in a high school basketball game against Wauwatosa West that took place on February 11th, 2020, with thanks to YouTube via Ryan Ellerbush.  Baldwin is an athletic, skilled 6-9 forward that can shoot and score the basketball, and he is a versatile player that seems to have a wide range of skills.  It was tough to find a full game film of him playing, which is why I decided to see him play in a game that took place over a year ago.

Baldwin is a talented prospect that appeared to be head and shoulders above the rest of the players that played in that particular game.  He is tall, skilled forward that can score effortlessly with ease, he is an unselfish player that can play the point, and he also is a rangy defender that can guard opponents when he is focused.  He didn’t always seem to be focused on the defensive end, and his shot selection looked to be spotty at times, but it seems clear that he is a very talented player that has plenty of upside.  Here are my thoughts on how Baldwin fared, as well as how his game may translate to the NBA.

6-9 forward, Patrick Baldwin Jr. is an athletic, versatile all-around player that has solid scoring skills, and he currently projects to go in the mid first round range in the 2022 draft.
(Photo: Rick Wood/Milwaukee Journal Sentinal, via USA Today High School Sports)

Patrick Baldwin Jr. had a solid showing in his team’s blowout win over Wauwatosa West.  He is a skilled, all-around player that has a wide range of skills, and he would be a very good get for the college basketball team that gets him, or for the G-League Ignite if he decides to go that route.  Rumor has it that it may be between Duke or Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  It would be a bold choice if it were the latter, and if he does end up going to Wisconsin-Milwaukee, this may mean that I will need to scout him plenty right now, because of the level of uncertainty of how often he would play on nationally televised games in the future.

Baldwin excelled at scoring on hustle plays.  He ran the floor to score as a trailer in transition early on.  His most impressive score was when he used a quick, Euro-step move to his right to score on a speedy drive in transition in traffic, in which he showed that he can really accelerate and get the ball quickly up the floor as the ball handler on fast breaks.

He also shot the ball very well in this game.  Baldwin showed a knack for making smooth, pull-up, mid-range jumpers, and he would effortlessly score over smaller defenders that would guard him.  He didn’t take nearly as many threes though, but Baldwin did make both of his three-point attempts from beyond the arc.  He made a quick spot-up three early on.  He also ran off of a stagger screen to make a three-pointer from well beyond the arc later in this match.  He will need to be comfortable in taking three-point shots, but even so, he seemed to show that he can make them effortlessly on offense. He also showed an adequate ability to score in the post.  Baldwin would tend to score on drop step moves, as he was able to throw down a powerful two-handed dunk, and he also scored on an off-balanced layup over a smaller defender.  Sometimes though, he would take tough, off-balanced jumpers that would result in misses.

Plus, he also appeared to run in to score on a tip-in off of an offensive rebound, except it didn’t count, because his teammate drew a foul earlier on the play.  Baldwin was able to utilize a jab step as he drew a non-shooting foul off of a half-court drive, although he didn’t seem to drive to the hoop very quickly that time, and he would’ve missed on a fadeaway, mid-range jumper had he not been fouled.

Also, Baldwin displayed solid playmaking skills.  He is a solid passer and ball handler, and he is a good passer off the dribble, as he can make drive and kick passes to find open shooters, and he also can effortlessly get the ball to open teammates on the break.  He also was able to throw a long, accurate outlet pass to set up a score for a teammate in transition due to possessing solid court vision. Adding to that, Baldwin did a good job of rebounding the basketball.  He was especially active at crashing the glass to help get his team defensive rebounds, and sometimes he would push the ball up the floor afterwards.

In addition, Baldwin played adequate defense in this game.  He is an active help defender that can get steals and blocks for his team.  He showed solid length and timing to block shots of smaller players when defending in the paint.  He also would get his hands on passes and poke balls away to get plenty of steals and deflections.  He generally excelled at contesting shots, especially when matched up against smaller players to force misses.

On the downside, he generally struggled more to defend out on the perimeter.  He would tend to get beat off the dribble, as he wouldn’t always give great effort, which would then lead him to commit fouls and allow scores.  He also would tend to rotate to commit fouls on drives to the hoop, as he would tend to pick up quick fouls on those plays.  There was another time where he didn’t even run hard back on defense, as his team allowed a score in transition. 

Overall, Patrick Baldwin Jr. is an athletic, skilled swingman that whose strong skill set and versatility may make him a solid candidate to go in the lottery or mid first round in the 2022 draft.  He will need to improve his shot selection and he will have to be a more committed on-ball defender in games, but his ability to score, pass, and defend makes him a solid prospect for next season.  He has the skills to be a solid role player in the NBA, and he could end up being a similar player to Orlando Magic’s forward, Otto Porter in the association.

Other Notes:

Wauwotasa West’s 6-3 high school sophomore guard, Colin Hardrick had his ups and downs in his team’s loss to Sussex Hamilton.  He is an athletic, skilled combo guard that may possess considerable potential, and he was able to make some solid plays at times, but he struggled to make shots efficiently, and he also had some defensive miscues in this game.

Hardrick flashed the ability to knock down threes to provide some floor spacing for his team on offense.  He was able to make a couple of open, spot-up threes, but he also missed on his fair share of long-range jumpers due to streakiness.  He also took a couple of mid-range jumpers off the dribble, but he would miss on rushed, contested shots. He also generally excelled at attacking the hoop to score the basketball.  Hardrick was able to score on a backdoor cut.  He also drew free throws on a switch of hands layup after driving hard to the rim another time.  He also scored on a quick fast break drive, but sometimes he would miss on tough, rushed shots in traffic.

He also displayed adequate playmaking skills.  Hardrick can throw solid passes off the dribble, and he can kick it out to shooters to set up scoring chances for them.  He also would throw crisp, long outlet passes to get the ball to his teammates in transition.  On the downside, he can be careless with the ball on offense, which can lead to turnovers.  On one play, he threw an inaccurate pass that ended up going out of bounds.  Another time, he tried to catch the ball on a cut, but he ended up bobbling and dropping the pass out of bounds. Also, Hardrick did a decent job of rebounding the basketball.  He was able to get a tough defensive board in traffic, and he would sometimes push the ball up the court after getting his team defensive rebounds.

Plus, he also played adequate defense in this game.  Hardrick showed a knack for poking balls away to get steals, and he would get his hands on passes to get steals and deflections.  He also would contest threes to force misses.  On the downside, he would tend to get beat off the dribble, and sometimes he would give up on plays to easily allow opponents to score around the basket.  Other times, he would bite on pump fakes, as he would give up open driving lanes to his opponents.

Overall, Colin Hardrick is an athletic, skilled combo guard that could be a prospect to watch sometime down the road.  He will need to learn to play more under control, but he can excel as a scorer and defender when he is focused.  He has the talent to play in Division I NCAA college basketball, and he could end up playing on a mid-major college basketball team in the future.  He will need to improve his shot selection and focus on both ends of the floor, but he could end up competing for a roster spot in the NBA sometime down the road if he can continue to hone his game and progress as an overall player over time.

Wauwotasa West’s 6-2 high school junior guard, Terrance McClendon is an athletic, score-first combo guard that played fairly well for his team in their loss to Sussex Hamilton. McClendon excelled at attacking the hoop to score the basketball.  He would run the floor to score in transition.  He also would score on strong drives to the basket.  He also ran quickly off the ball to get it, and he drove hard to the hoop to score on a crafty, switch of hands layup at the end of the game.  Plus, he also managed to draw free throws on a tip-in after grabbing an offensive rebound.

He also showed an adequate ability to make pull-up jumpers from the mid-range, though he seemed to take a lot of mid-range shots, and he also missed his fair share of them.  He struggled more when hoisting up threes, and he did not make a single three-point shot in this game. He also handles the ball well.  He didn’t seem to make any noteworthy passes though.  He also committed a couple of ball-handling turnovers, as he was called for a carrying violation, and he also lost the ball when handling it on the break another time.

Also, McClendon showed a solid ability to rebound the basketball.  He would leap up to haul in boards on both ends of the floor.  Defensively, he seemed to struggle, though.  For the positives, he was able to contest a mid-range shot to force a miss.  He also dove for a loose ball to help his team get possession of the ball due to making a solid hustle play that time.  However, he would tend to get beat off the dribble to allow scores, and there was one occasion where he just gave up on the play.  He also was late to get out on a shooter, which led him to allow an opponent to score on a three-point shot.

Overall, Terrance McClendon is an athletic combo guard that can make solid hustle plays on both ends of the floor when he is dialed in, but he will need to improve his outside shot, playmaking skills, and on-ball defense.  Right now, he seems to be a borderline candidate to play in Division 1 NCAA college basketball for the time being.  He still may have a ways to go as a player, but if he can keep improving over time, he could end up carving out a playing career in professional basketball someday.

Wauwatosa West’s 6-3 high school senior forward, Alec White played very well in this game, and although he will play football and will not pursue basketball in the future, he deserves a shout-out, because he looked to be among the two or three best players in this game.  He’s a very good shooter that plays much bigger than his listed size, and he plays like a seasoned, skilled stretch big when he is on the floor. White did a tremendous job of making spot-up threes, and he also showed a knack for scoring on pick and pop plays.  He also managed to score on a fadeaway, turnaround jumper in the post.

He also is an unselfish player that can find cutters and can find teammates on the move to notch assists.  He also was active defensively, as he managed to block a shot in the post, and he also poked a ball away to help his team get a steal.  On the downside, he would sometimes whiff on steal attempts, and he would occasionally be late on his rotations.   He didn’t appear to get many rebounds, but he was able to get a few for his team.

Overall, White is a very skilled offensive player that excelled at shooting and scoring the basketball from all over the floor.  While he may not possess ideal size or physical tools, he showed solid offensive skills and basketball IQ in this game. His Rivals page suggests that he is more likely to play college football as an outside linebacker, but he appears to be skilled enough to play in division 1 NCAA college basketball if he decides to pursue basketball as a career path in the future.

Sussex Hamilton’s guards, Tanner Resch, Luther Smith Jr., and Carson Smith all played well in this game.  It was hard to tell their jersey numbers because of how the jersey was designed, but all three of them seemed to play well in this match.

Resch is a fairly athletic, skilled combo guard that can score on quick drives, and he also was able to make a couple of threes from well beyond the arc.  Luther Smith Jr. showed the ability to make threes and score on drives to the hoop, and he also excelled as a facilitator and defender in this game.  Carson Smith also did a good job of scoring on strong drives to the hoop.  The three of them together would apply solid ball pressure to help force turnovers on the defensive end.  The three guards played well in this game, and they are skilled playmakers that all could end up playing in Division I NCAA college basketball in the future.

In this video, it was tough to tell the jersey numbers of the players on Hamilton’s basketball team. They had red jerseys with red numbers that would blend in with the jersey, and the video quality was only in standard definition. I could tell who Baldwin was on the court, but it made it tougher to discern who the rest of his teammates were, because I could not easily discern which jerseys they were wearing in this game. Thanks for reading, and there will be more articles to come later this week.

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