As most people have figured out by now, Paolo Banchero is an unusual talent. At 6-11 - we think - he retains guard skills from when he was much smaller and, according to fivethirtyeight.com, he has an unusual distribution of shots too:
“Banchero takes a lower combined share of field-goal attempts in the paint and at the rim than any of those nine players, according to CBB Analytics. He ranks sixth on his own team in percentage of shots taken in the paint, trailing even Trevor Keels, who is 5 inches shorter than Banchero...nearly a quarter of Banchero’s shot profile is painted from the midrange; Kentucky’s Isaiah Jackson is the only player among Banchero’s comps who took more than 16 percent of his attempts from the area. No other player on Duke’s roster accounts for more than 17 percent of shot attempts in the midrange.
“Most surprising is that 23.5 percent of Banchero’s shots have come above the break, a rarity from a big that was exceeded among our first-rounders ony by Loyola’s Santi Aldama, a stretch forward who lacked size on the interior and was largely deployed as a perimeter shooter.
“Put together, Banchero’s shot profile looks more comparable to midrange marksman DeMar DeRozan than it does to stretch big Bam Adebayo.”
That’s pretty interesting. The bit about Keels makes sense because he drives a lot but we never would have guessed he has more inside shots than Banchero.
That’s going to work out for him well in the long run because a lot of NBA teams don’t really have anyone who likes the midrange game.
And at Duke?
Hard to say.
Coach K is famous for the whole plant-in-a-pot vs. one growing free - i.e., people not being bound by preconceptions. On the other hand though, over the years he’s also asked (or offered) people to do something the team needs. Nick Horvath started as a willowy three point shooter; he ended as a power player. In his senior year, Coach K told Billy King that he’d need to improve his offense or risk losing his position.
So it’s hard to say from outside. The main principle is whatever helps the team, and if Keels, Mark Williams, Theo John and Wendell Moore can handle the inside, then maybe letting Banchero play to his strengths is the ideal thing for this team.