Duke basketball thinks it has the best player in the country

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

The Duke basketball program believes it has the best player in the country this season. 

All Duke basketball fans were thinking the same thing, but associate head coach Jon Scheyer publicly said it. The Blue Devils believe Paolo Banchero will be the best player in the country.

The future head coach of Duke joined Rob Dauster on The Field of 68 as the media outlet ranked the Blue Devils at No. 15 in its preseason poll.

Dauster asked Scheyer about Banchero, who could be the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

“He’s one of a kind,” Scheyer explained of the uber-talented freshman.

“We plan to use him from all over the court, and we feel he should be a mismatch and really the best player on the court no matter who we’re playing.”

Banchero is listed at 6-foot-10, 250 pounds and can do it all on the basketball court, whether that be play inside, outside, rebound, or run the point.

The Seattle, Washington native reportedly dropped 29 points and 12 rebounds on senior-led Villanova in a secret scrimmage over the weekend.

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Paolo Banchero entered Duke as the No. 2 player in the Class of 2021, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, only trailing Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren.

Banchero and Holmgren will have a chance to go head-to-head at least once this season on November 26 in Las Vegas.

Duke basketball assistant believes Blue Devils will have top-tier frontcourt

Jon Scheyer also discussed the potential frontcourt duo of Paolo Banchero and Mark Williams, and the head coach-in-waiting was glowing about the continued development of the sophomore center.

“We feel there is no better big guy in the country than Mark Williams,” Scheyer declared.

“What he did at the end of [last] year was dominant. We really haven’t had many guys that have done that.”

ALSO READ: Duke’s newest ‘Big 3’ could be the best in country

Williams averaged 16.6 points and 7.8 rebounds in his last six games as a freshman, which was capped off by a 23-point, 19-rebound performance against Louisville in the ACC Tournament.

The frontcourt duo will be joined by returning players such as Wendell Moore, Jeremy Roach, and Joey Baker as well as Marquette graduate transfer Theo John and freshmen Trevor Keels, AJ Griffin, and Jaylen Blakes.

No. 9 Duke will get its regular season underway against No. 10 Kentucky in the State Farm Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 9 (9:30pm EST, ESPN).

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