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Top-5 recruit Patrick Baldwin Jr. will keep Kentucky at the “top” of his list

This is shaping up to be another Kentucky vs. Duke battle.

Basketball: USA Men’s Junior National Team Minicamp Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats have always been known for recruiting the nation’s top basketball talent. Well, they’re going to have to dig into their bag of tricks for a chance to secure a top-five player in the Class of 2021, Patrick Baldwin Jr.

Long thought of as a lock to go to Duke, Baldwin Jr. has been keeping his options open. Most recently Baldwin Jr. told Ben Roberts of the Herald Leader that “They (Kentucky) will definitely be at the top of the list.”

Still with two years in high school, Baldwin has already received an offer from Kentucky, but he doesn’t plan to make official visits until next summer or fall. Baldwin will be another recruit that is highly sought after by all the nation’s top collegiate programs, but he likes what Kentucky has to offer.

“You just see all the players that go through the program and improve day by day. And then they get to achieve the goal of the NBA,” Baldwin said. “Coach Calipari — that whole staff — is somebody that I really think highly of. And, when I talked with them when they came to visit my school — he just blew me away by his professionalism and everything that he had to say about his program.”

What’s even crazier is that the high school standout entering his junior season is already drawing comparisons to Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson and Nuggets small forward Michael Porter Jr.

However, Baldwin told Jason Jordan of USA Today that he views his game more in the light of Thompson than Porter Jr. A comparison to a player that has three rings and five All-Star appearances is setting lofty standards for the junior.

Still uncommitted, Baldwin is set to be the second-best recruit in the Class of 2021 and the top overall recruit from Wisconsin.

According to 247Sports.com’s crystal ball, 100% of the predictions are in favor of Duke. That’s also the case in his Rivals futurecast.

Given Baldwin’s statements, it seems a bit odd to believe that he's not given a single thought at heading elsewhere.

That said, it still seems like Kentucky will be in the mix as the 6-foot-8 small forward’s decision may not come for a year still.

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