Also in Philadelphia was Vic Law, whose basketball career had gone in an opposite direction following Carmody's dismissal. Chris Collins took the helm at NU and worked diligently to land Law, succeeding when the 4-star small forward committed on Independence Day.
Less than one week after the decision, Law traveled to Philadelphia and forged an immediate bond with Baldwin—a three-star shooting guard from St. Joseph's Metuchen (N.J.). They enjoyed playing alongside each other, and the former followed through on his promise: He staged an informal recruitment.
"We built a great relationship," Baldwin said. "He was in my room at 4 a.m., talking about Northwestern."
Collins and the coaching staff must be excited about Law's enthusiasm. Armon Gates watched Baldwin erupt for 17 points against the Mac Irvin Fire.
Everyone related to NU basketball expresses one similar goal: Make the team nationally relevant. Baldwin said Law outlined the team's current need at guard. (Law also met recent Northwestern offer Makinde London, and the two reportedly liked each other)
"He said: ‘Let's just go there, put Northwestern on the map and go to an NCAA Tournament,'" Baldwin said. "He's a 6-8 talented player, and they need a guard for that squad. I liked playing with him."
This whole situation could avoid redundancy. Tyler Ulis and Bryant McIntosh stand as the two major point guard priorities. The Wildcats staff is conducting its thorough search for capable power forwards. With three scholarships remaining, though, NU concentrates on finding the best players. Needs are important, but winning takes precedence.
Baldwin also showed off impressive versatility—the keyword in these parts. Against a resilient Illinois Old School team on Friday, he delivered the ball to teammates, played exceptional defense and attacked the rim. Though Vanderbilt is widely considered to be the frontrunner, other schools–like Northwestern–are picking it up.
"[NU] hasn't offered me as of now, but we'll see what goes on, and I'll set my top five schools after this July period," Baldwin said. "They have a lot of promise, and I'm waiting to hear from them."
Collins returns to Indianapolis this weekend, and should watch Baldwin in action. It might result in the head coach re-extending an old offer.
For now, Baldwin can once again learn to appreciate the program. This time, it's for some very different reasons.