Gary Parrish has a Candid Coaches piece up (it’s an off-season tradition of coaches saying interesting stuff under the cover of anonymity) talking about the best players this year.
The top of the pile is Gonzaga’s Drew Timme, followed by Kofi Cockburn, Timme’s new teammate Chet Holmgren, UCLA’s Johnny Juzang and then....Paolo Banchero. And look what one coach said about Banchero:
“Paolo is as gifted as Kevin Durant and Michael Beasley. He’s possibly the best college player since those guys. Yes, I think he’s better than Zion Williamson and Cade Cunningham and Anthony Davis and Deandre Ayton, all in college. I’m rolling with Paolo’s production and impact over them. I’m talking that KD, Beasley, D-Rose type of freshman. Paolo is THAT.”
There are a million and one things that could go wrong for any player from injuries to attitude and ego to just not being that passionate about the game. All Cherokee Parks, the son of hippies wanted, was to be a square. He saw people going to work during his career and envied them. He’s the only NBA player we have ever heard of who just wanted to live a 9-5 job, which he now does, by the way.
But back to Banchero.
If that’s what he is, then Duke is going to be in for a huge ride this season and should be a tough out for anyone.