Ranking each Duke basketball player in the Blue-White games

Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /
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3. Evaluating Blue-White Duke basketball contributor Paolo Banchero

Combined stats for Paolo Banchero:

  • 24 minutes
  • 11 points
  • 5-for-11 from the field, 0-for-3 from three, 1-for-5 from the foul line
  • Six rebounds
  • Three assists
  • One steal
  • One block
  • Zero turnovers

Duke basketball freshman Paolo Banchero, the most heralded newcomer in Durham since RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson, and Cam Reddish in 2018, looked nervous throughout what was likely the presumed one-and-done’s lone Countdown to Craziness appearance. Beginning with the pregame quick-dance sessions, he seemed a tad shy or something.

Nevertheless, the 6-foot-10, 250-pound power forward managed several times in the scrimmages to put his top-shelf versatility and athleticism on full display. Take, for instance, the most resonating flush of the night below, with apologies to the blown-by Bates Jones:


His lack of a turnover was impressive, considering his freshman status and the amount of time the ball was in his hands. His assortment of gifts in finding buckets within 15 feet was perhaps a preview of what’s in store for ACC defenders. His ability to orchestrate action across the length of the floor is exceedingly rare among men with his imposing frame.

As soon as Banchero gets his feet wet and shakes off the nerves, expect the 3-point attempts to start falling and, as a whole, for the 18-year-old Seattle native to start taking over games for minutes at a time.

Player grade: 89 (B+)