Duke basketball: Dick Vitale delivers early ‘Diaper Dandy’ tag

Frequent Duke basketball commentator Dick Vitale (Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)
Frequent Duke basketball commentator Dick Vitale (Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports) /

A Duke basketball newcomer has already attracted an extremely loud admirer.

Dick Vitale is never shy about proclaiming first-year ACC hoopsters as a “Diaper Dandy” or applying the “PTP-er” label to a primetime performer. But when it comes to Duke basketball freshman Paolo Banchero, it looks as if the 82-year-old ESPN commentator is getting a significant head start in handing out his trademark descriptors.

This week, Vitale tweeted that Banchero, a 6-foot-10, 250-pound power forward who arrives in Durham at No. 2 overall on the 247Sports 2021 Composite, is about to become “one of the 3 TOP IMPACT DIAPER DANDIES in 2021-22 college basketball.”

Vitale did not name the other two he has in mind. However, it seems reasonably safe to assume that one of those spots belongs to Gonzaga newbie Chet Holmgren, a 7-footer who finished No. 1 in the 2021 class.

Barring any injuries, Holmgren will square off against Banchero and the Duke Blue Devils on Nov. 26 at the Continental Tire Challenge in Las Vegas. And it wouldn’t be a surprise to hear Vitale on the mic dishing out adulation to both projected 2022 lottery picks during that high-profile battle.

Family of the Duke basketball newbie showing a deep appreciation

In response to the high praise for his son, Mario Banchero appeared to treasure the kind words by noting in a retweet that “The very first Dickie V ‘Diaper Dandy’ reference is definitely a moment.”

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Then Vitale replied to that message by adorning Paolo Banchero with the oh-so-early “PTP-er” status. On top of that, he asked Mario Banchero to tell the advanced 18-year-old to introduce himself to his twin grandsons, Connor and Jake, who are freshmen on the Blue Devil tennis squad and, according to their famous grandpa, share a writing class with the new “Big Man on Campus.”

Paolo Banchero’s proud aunt, Kelly Guy, also chimed in with the following reaction to Vitale’s initial “Diaper Dandy” tweet:

“From a super fan…you calling a game would be amazing. Fulfilling one of my dreams for him.”

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Meanwhile, Duke basketball fans are hoping to witness Paolo Banchero fulfill that dream and many more — especially any that involve net-cutting as an anticipated one-and-done “PTP-er.”