Talk is cheap. It’s one thing for big name recruits to mention the Gophers as a school they’re interested in or even list them as one of their finalists, but it’s another thing when they come on campus for an official visit.
Wade Baldwin, ranked 117th nationally on Rivals, recently scheduled an official visit to the University of Minnesota set for Sept. 21. Baldwin had recently cut his list down to five schools, the other schools being Florida State, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh and Vanderbilt.
Richard Pitino has made quite an impact this recruiting season, receiving plenty of interest from many big name recruits. However, though it’s still early, there hasn’t been any set dates for official visits until Baldwin. Several recruits who list the Gophers on their short list still haven’t mentioned them as a school they plan on visiting.
The Gophers have had a lot of success in the past with getting recruits to commit shortly after visiting campus, which is why we are fortunate Baldwin has a visit scheduled. Minnesota is attractive to a lot of recruits due to its location in the heart of a great metropolitan area with a great campus feel.
I think Baldwin, who is known for his defensive intensity and offensive capabilities in transition, would be a great fit for the Gophers as a player in Pitino’s system. It’s no wonder why Richard Pitino spent so much time chasing him around the AAU circuit.
Baldwin, who is out of New Jersey, first became interested with the Gophers when assistant coach Dan McHale recruited him from Seton Hall. Shortly after McHale joined the Gophers staff the offer was extended to Baldwin. The Gophers staff has been persistent in their recruitment throughout the summer.
“…I figured I’d try to come up for a visit and see [everything]. They’ve been showing some loyalty toward me, so I’m going to show some love back,” Baldwin told Amelia Rayno of the Star Tribune.
If loyalty is what he’s looking for, he won’t have to look much further after his visit in September. Recruits have always been impressed with our fan base and our campus atmosphere and bringing Baldwin to campus could pay dividends down the road in the NCAA tournament for years to come.