With #1 recruit Chet Holmgren announcing his commitment to Gonzaga on Monday afternoon, after ESPN decided to delay things for over 45 minutes, that leaves Patrick Baldwin Jr. as the top remaining undecided recruit in the Class of 2021 (#3 recruit Jaden Hardy is expected to go pro).
And so, Baldwin Watch (painstakingly) continues. And still, Georgetown continues to keep its starting power forward spot open for next season. They are ready to roll out the red carpet and welcome the 6’9” Wisconsin native to the Hilltop with open arms, but still, nobody knows when Baldwin is going to commit.
The Hoyas have basically wrapped up their offseason roster tinkering everywhere else after adding Citadel guard Kaiden Rice over the weekend. With Rice and Eastern Kentucky PF/C Tre King in the fold, Georgetown’s roster is in good shape…except at the power forward spot, where Patrick Ewing and his staff have been conspicuously quiet.
Almost like…they’re waiting on somebody.
And waiting they are. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Georgetown’s staff is highly confident in where they stand with Baldwin Jr.
Of course, the coaching staff could be wrong in their assessment, but currently, there is a high degree of optimism within the Thompson Athletic Center about the Hoyas’ chances of landing the #4 player in the Class of 2021.
This information comes at a time when Rivals national recruiting writer Rob Cassidy, who initially had this as a race between Milwaukee and Duke, backtracked last week, saying, “These days, both Duke and Georgetown are in the thick of the race, and things seem a tad less certain than they once did.”
Now, this is not saying Baldwin Jr. is a lock to Georgetown. It would be a seismic upset in the recruiting world if Georgetown won this race. But, this recruitment is following a similar pattern as Aminu Mohammed’s recruitment, with national reporters initially discounting Georgetown’s chances, and gradually admitting that the Hoyas are a bigger contender for the player’s commitment than was first thought.
Both Mohammed and Baldwin Jr. led very quiet recruitments, with very few leaks about where either would land. In fact, the case could be made that Baldwin Jr. has had an even quieter recruitment than Mohammed did, which is saying something.
The positive buzz around Baldwin and Georgetown has persisted for over two months now, and Georgetown’s lack of activity in the transfer portal at the stretch-4 position would appear to confirm that they have reason to believe they are close to adding a stretch-4 like Baldwin Jr. soon.
Still, it would be a massive upset if Baldwin Jr. chose Georgetown. Which is why Georgetown fans shouldn’t get too cocky just yet.
Which is to say, it would be ill-advised for the Hoyas to put all their eggs in one basket. This brings us to the next interesting development on the Hilltop.
Senior forward Jamorko Pickett, who is set to graduate, has had a change of heart, and is considering returning to Georgetown next season for his additional year of eligibility. This is very much a fluid situation, but one that has changed from the start of the offseason, when the staff was under the impression that Pickett would be turning pro.
By no means is Pickett coming back a certainty. But it’s officially changed from ‘Not happening’ to a ‘Maybe’.
Per source, how the final roster looks for next season will factor into Pickett’s final decision. It is not known whether he would be more or less likely to return if Baldwin Jr., who plays the same position, committed to Georgetown.
As a reminder, Pickett would not count against Georgetown’s scholarship count next season if he did return, so Georgetown could take him back with no cost, aside from the financial cost to the school of an extra scholarship player.
Patrick Ewing is close to completing an incredibly strong offseason, if he can bring in Baldwin Jr., or get Pickett to return for one more season. Georgetown's depth chart, if Ewing can get one of Baldwin Jr. or Pickett, would look like this:
Patrick Baldwin Jr./Jamorko Pickett
Key Reserves: Kaiden Rice, Jordan Riley, Tyler Beard, Jamari Sibley, TJ Berger, Timothy Ighoefe, Ryan Mutombo
Translation: See you in the NCAA Tournament.
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