Duke basketball: Crucial 2021 recruit trims list to six powerhouse programs

Duke basketball freshman Paolo Banchero (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Duke basketball freshman Paolo Banchero (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

A critical recruit in the class of 2021, Paolo Banchero, has trimmed his final list of schools down to six and included the Duke basketball program.

The way in which coaches have to recruit for the 2021-22 season and beyond has changed tremendously because of the coronavirus pandemic, but that has not stopped Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski from his masterful recruiting ways.

Five-star junior Paolo Banchero announced on April 24 that he would trim his final list of schools down to six, and on Wednesday afternoon that list was released via his Twitter page.

The Duke basketball program was one of the six teams, along with Gonzaga, Arizona, Tennessee, Washington, and Kentucky.

The 6-foot-9 power forward from Seattle, Washington took a visit to Durham during Countdown to Craziness prior to the 2019-20 season and has since been in communication with the Blue Devils’ staff via virtual calls and tour amid COVID-19.

In an interview with Corey Evans of Rivals, the O’Dea High School star spilled some of Mike Krzyzewski’s recruiting pitches, which include the details that he has coached NBA stars such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant as well as Banchero having the ball in his hands a lot if he were to commit to Duke because of his elite playmaking abilities.

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Both of Banchero’s parents attended the University of Washington, and his 247 Sports Crystal Ball prediction is currently to become a Husky in his home state, but Krzyzewski is stressing the idea of competing for an ACC and National Championship if the No. 4 player in the Class of 2021, according to the 247 Sports Composite Rankings, were to land in Durham.

Paolo Banchero has also talked about the possibility of teaming up with fellow five-star in the Class of 2021 Kennedy Chandler, who is also expected to trim his list down to five in the coming days.

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Chandler’s 247 Sports Crystal Ball prediction is for the guard to land at Duke.

The only 2021 recruit that the Blue Devils have under wraps is 6-foot-7 small forward Adrian Griffin Jr. out of Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.).

Paolo Banchero has not given a timetable when to expect a decision, but be sure to see the Duke staff (virtually) be on the tail of the highly coveted forward.