Duke basketball: Coach K compares new commit to Blue Devil legend

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

Add an “o” to the end of “daddy” to discover a new Duke basketball war cry.

Assuming the Cameron Crazies are able to be back in action at Duke basketball home games by the time O’Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero arrives in Durham next year, they might need to dust off a two-decade-old chant and tweak it a bit to make it rhyme and flow (the new surname for the chant already has the same first two letters and the correct number of syllables).

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So…Who’s your daddy? BATTIER. Indeed, that much hasn’t changed. After all, 2001 national champ and No. 31-retirer Shane Battier was, is, and always will be Blue Devil royalty.

Evidently, though, per what Banchero told ESPN’s Paul Biancardi following his sudden Thursday pledge to Duke — Arizona, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Washington were his other finalists — Mike Krzyzewski must see the 6-foot-9, 235-pound grown-man recruit as another possible answer in the chant:

“[Coach K] doesn’t really say I play like him, but he says my IQ and my mind, and just the way I talk on the floor, reminds him of Shane Battier. Just being able to talk and being a leader, and just having a great IQ, that’s the one player who he says I remind him of… just the way I see the game.”

Banchero, who ranks No. 3 on the 247Sports 2021 Composite and boasts as much power and versatility as any prep, then responded to Biancardi’s followup regarding a specific Battier ability: drawing charges (to the tune of an NCAA-record 113 before naming his mission to help underserved youth The Battier Take Charge Foundation). But Banchero, while not ruling out the thought of adding to his tricks, said he prefers the other way to demoralize opposing offenses:

“I’m more about blocked shots. I’m going to go up and try to get the block. Who knows, though, maybe.”

Evidence of Banchero’s shot-blocking prowess, among other potential All-American weapons, is in the mixtape below:

Whether by blocks, charges, leadership, or relentless buckets, the new Cameron Indoor Stadium chant could become clear as soon as the Italian-descent baller begins to assert his power against the ACC the season after next (likely his lone campaign before becoming a lottery pick). It ought to be a no-brainer: Who’s your daddy-o? BANCHERO.

Suddenly oh-so-rosy standing of Duke basketball recruiting in 2021

The addition of Banchero to November commit AJ Griffin, a chiseled five-star small forward with a No. 6 composite ranking, now gives Coach K and his staff both of the nation’s top two commits to date among rising high school seniors.

And the Duke basketball recruiting machine, owner of four of the nation’s past seven No. 1 hauls, still has four more offers out to 2021 five-stars: Paul VI (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels, Montverde (Fla.) small forward Caleb Houstan, Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., and IMG (Fla.) center Charles Bediako.

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Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more on Paolo Banchero plus other Duke basketball recruiting news and views.