Duke basketball star stomps Villanova in a secret scrimmage

Duke basketball forward Paolo Banchero (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball forward Paolo Banchero (Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

A secret scrimmage reportedly included a big Duke basketball double-double.

The secret was already out, but it became more evident to Villanova on Saturday afternoon: Duke basketball power forward Paolo Banchero is a beast.

Per tweets from Blue Devil insider Zion Olojede, the 6-foot-10, 250-pound freshman out of Seattle totaled a double-double with 29 points and 12 boards in leading Duke, who ranks No. 9 in the Preseason AP Top 25, to a not-so-hush-hush “win” over the No. 4 Wildcats in Washington, D.C.

However, keep in mind that the action, according to reports, consisted of several sessions that may have totaled a bit more than 40 minutes.

More leaked tidbits from Duke basketball’s supposed victory

There are no final scores from the secret scrimmage — there may never be — but Olojede mentioned that Duke at one point held as much as a 13-point lead in one of the sessions and, for all practical purposes, “won” the scrimmage.

Jeff Goodman of Stadium confirmed from his source that Banchero was a top Duke performer in the closed-door affair, along with junior small forward Wendell Moore. And Olojede later noted that Moore went for 16 points and nine boards while freshman shooting guard Trevor Keels poured in 18 points for the Blue Devils, shooting 4-for-7 from 3-point land.

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Although the get-together’s silly “secret” tag must prevent anyone inside the Duke basketball program from publicly revealing any boxscores, the official Twitter account seemed to indicate that a lot went right for Paolo Banchero, in particular. It did so by adding these emojis to the presumed one-and-done’s own tweeted emojis:

Then on Saturday evening, Duke presented these highlights of the Blue Devils, officially making the secret scrimmage anything but a secret in the end:

This year, Duke’s only official exhibition game will take place on Oct. 30 against Winston-Salem State in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

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The Blue Devils begin their regular season with a bout against No. 10 Kentucky on Nov. 9 at the Champions Classic in Madison Square Garden.