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Duke Recruiting: Paolo Banchero Commits!

A major get for the Blue Devils

City Of Palms Classic
 FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 19: Paolo Banchero #5 of O’Dea High School in action against Blanche Ely High School during the City of Palms Classic Day 2 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on December 19, 2019 in Fort Myers, Florida.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

We’ll have more on this soon but Top Five recruit Paolo Banchero has committed to Duke, joining AJ Griffin in the class of 2021.

Previously a lot of people thought he would go in a package deal with Chandler Kennedy, who just committed to Tennessee but essentially Banchero chose the special forces over the grunts (we refer to the boring style of play Rick Barnes has always employed vs. the daring of Mike Krzyzewski’s approach).

A lot of people are calling this decision a shocker or a major surprise. Tennessee folks thought their odds got better with his pal Kennedy just having committed. Washington fans thought that since his father played football there and his mother basketball that he would be a Huskie. called it a “stunner” of a decision. Arizona has mined Seattle before and thought it had a shot. But the funniest reaction is from KentuckySportsRadio. Check it out.

Duke now has the foundations of a powerful recruiting class. It’ll be interesting to see who else comes now. And keep in mind this is for 2021. We know who a lot of these guys are but we don’t yet know who’s going to emerge.

As Matt Jones pointed out over at KSR, in the last 10 days Kentucky has lost assistant coach Kenny Payne to the New York Knicks, assistant AD DeWayne Peevey to DePaul (where he’ll eventually fire the ill-tempered Dave Leitao), Chandler to Tennessee and now Banchero to Duke. Tough stretch indeed. But as the Vegas guys used to say, it ain’t the winning it’s the collecting.