Duke basketball: Two future Blue Devils taste bittersweet honor

Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

Duke basketball is set to enjoy at least two more McDonald’s All-Americans.

Due to COVID-related precautions, for the second year in a row, there will not be a McDonald’s All-American Game. Naturally, that nugget makes this week’s McDonald’s All-American nods taste bittersweet for the five-star pair of 2021 Duke basketball signees to date: O’Dea (Wash.) power forward Paolo Banchero and Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) small forward AJ Griffin.

Of course, the title alone is everlasting and quite an honor.

Banchero, who committed to the Blue Devils in August and signed his letter of intent in November, is a 6-foot-9, 235-pound bruiser, ranking No. 3 on the 247Sports 2021 Composite. Griffin, who became the first piece to Duke’s class with his pledge in November 2019 and then also put his decision in ink back in the fall, is a 6-foot-7, 200-pound slasher, sitting No. 7 overall.

Also among the 24 prospects who garnered the “Burger Boy” distinction on Tuesday were two five-stars remaining on the 2021 Duke basketball recruiting radar: Hamilton (Wis.) small forward Patrick Baldwin Jr., who ranks No. 4, and Paul VI (Va.) shooting guard Trevor Keels, who ranks No. 20.

Duke basketball’s McDonald’s All-American record

Counting Paolo Banchero and AJ Griffin in addition to the three from last year — current Duke freshmen Mark Williams, DJ Steward, and Jeremy Roach — the program in Durham boasts a record with 84 all-time McDonald’s All-American selections.

Plus, to no surprise whatsoever, the 82 since Mike Krzyzewski took over in 1980 represent a record for the most under a single head coach.

Furthermore, this marks the 37th straight year that at least one future Blue Devil has become a McDonald’s All-American. And that is 24 years longer than any other such streak in the country.

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