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The Chronicle’s Latest Profile: Paolo Banchero

Duke’s freshman has the chance to be something truly special

Duke Countdown To Craziness
DURHAM, NC - OCTOBER 15: Paolo Banchero #5 of the Duke Blue Devils looks on during Countdown To Craziness at Cameron Indoor Stadium on October 15, 2021 in Durham, North Carolina.
Photo by Lance King/Getty Images

Things don’t always work out as you expect but among Duke’s freshmen there’s no question that Paolo Banchero is expected to have the brightest future.

The 6-10 freshman out of Seattle has a tremendous skillset. He’s grown to 6-10 and 250 - he was closer to 6-8 when he committed. Offensively he has range and deft handle. He’s also an outstanding passer.

Defensively he is solid and with a 40” vertical he’s imposing inside. We’re not saying he’ll ever do it but his talents mean he could conceivably get a quadruple double at some point in his career. From the Chronicle article:

“He is an extremely athletic big with elite explosiveness that sets him apart from his peers. He’s a high-speed train in transition and has the size and strength to be a bully down low, and his NBA-ready frame paired with his high basketball IQ are why he has proven to be an exceptional rebounder. Additionally, his speed relative to his size means he’s positioned to be one of the nation’s most versatile defenders, truly capable of guarding every position on the court, and such quickness and solid ball handling allow him to play at the top of the key and take players off the dribble if necessary.“

If he’s as good as he has looked to date, he’s going to have a monster year - and Duke might too.