Duke basketball recruiting: Paolo Banchero ‘takeover’ already taking place

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

Paolo Banchero’s name alone should ensure a bright Duke basketball outlook.

Duke basketball signee Paolo Banchero scored 41 points on Thursday night and appeared to use about 41 different moves to get there.

Playing for No. 2 seed BFL Prep (Wash.) in The Grind Session’s 16-team World Championship at The PHHacility in Phoenix, Az., the 6-foot-9 — some now say 6-10 — 235-pound power forward took home Player of the Game honors in a 102-78 blowout over No. 7 seed PHHoenix Prep.

The five-star did so after adding 11 boards, three assists, and two blocks next to the 41 in his stat line.

Naturally, Banchero’s highlights, accompanying praise from various recruiting accounts, quickly sprung up on Twitter:

YouTube too, of course:

And that was also the case on Wednesday night as Banchero totaled 29 points, 13 boards, two dimes, five blocks, and a steal in a 79-67 victory against No. 15 seed Colorado Prep:

That performance led to Stock Risers recruiting insider Jake Weingarten basically wondering aloud if the smooth bruiser sits a tad too low at No. 3 overall on the 247Sports 2021 Composite:

With obvious growth across the past year to what was already an expansive game and intimidating frame for a high schooler, Banchero’s continued dominance versus relatively strong competition should give Duke basketball fans a reason to smile while coping with the current 11-10 campaign in Durham.

This tweet from the manly 18-year-old himself shouldn’t hurt either in easing the present-day pain among Dukies:

Up next for the probable Duke basketball centerpiece

BFL Prep and its outright centerpiece, Paolo Banchero, are slated to face No. 3 seed Prolific Prep (Calif.), featuring 6-foot-11 Oregon commit Nate Bittle, in the semifinals of The Grind Session World Championship at 4 p.m. ET Friday.

Should Banchero & Co. come out on top, the squad will vie for the title at 7 p.m. ET Saturday, facing the winner of Friday’s 8 p.m. ET matchup between No. 4 seed Dream City Christian (Az.) and top overall seed Arizona Compass.

Tanager Sports streams all the games from its site for those who either have a subscription or sign up for a free trial.

Now, let’s look ahead to next season. Paolo Banchero is set to debut for Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski alongside at least one fellow McDonald’s All-American in Archbishop Stepinac (N.Y.) small forward AJ Griffin, a five-star who ranks No. 7 in the class.

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