Nolan Hickman became Kentucky’s first 2021 pledge this past weekend, and he’s wasting no time recruiting others to join him at Kentucky.
In an interview with CatsPause, Hickman said he’s recruiting five-star forwards Patrick Baldwin Jr. and Moussa Diabate for the Wildcats.
“I’m definitely reaching out to Patrick Baldwin Jr. later today. Moussa [Diabate] ... I plan on reaching out to a few.”
Baldwin is arguably the best player in the 2021 class, as Rivals has him ranked No. 1 overall, while ESPN and 247 Sports have him at No. 2. Kentucky offered him a scholarship in August of 2019.
“Their pitch has just been a lot of things that we knew going in which was that they produce a lot of NBA talent, play in the SEC, they have really good teams and talent in that league,“ Baldwin told Rivals. “A really big pitch is that they know that I am really talented but if you come to Kentucky, that they aren’t guaranteeing you anything,”
However, Duke is seen as the heavy favorite for the 6-9 forward out of Wisconsin. And if not Duke, Milwaukee is seen as the next biggest contender, as their head coach is Pat’s father, Patrick Baldwin Sr.
That was reiterated today by Rivals recruiting guru Corey Evans, saying, “Duke is the team to beat. If he doesn’t pick the blueblood program it will be because it was too difficult to decline the chance to play for his dad at Milwaukee.”
As for Diabate, it was reported back in December that Kentucky was showing interest in the 2021 forward, who is currently ranked seventh overall by ESPN and 11th by 247 Sports. He plays at IMG Academy in Florida and holds offers from Arizona, Oregon, Memphis, Michigan, Alabama, Florida State and Arkansas among others.
The 6-10, 215-pound Frenchman doesn’t have an offer from the Wildcats yet, but Hickman’s comments give the impression that they’re still recruiting Diabate, who was recently called one of the hardest recruitments to read by Rivals.
There hasn’t been any Kentucky buzz in his recruitment since December, but maybe that changes now that Paolo Banchero and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield are off the board.