Duke basketball: Paolo Banchero collects yet another award

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

Now might be the time to expand the Duke basketball trophy case.

For the fourth time this season, Duke basketball sensation Paolo Banchero is the ACC Freshman of the Week. It marks the 70th time a Duke Blue Devil has taken home the hardware in the past 146 possible weeks, dating back to the 2013-14 campaign.

Two more Duke rookies, small forward AJ Griffin and shooting guard Trevor Keels, have also won the award once apiece this season. On that note, it’s no surprise at all that Banchero, Griffin, and Keels are each a projected one-and-done first-round draft pick at his juncture. In Banchero’s case, he has a legitimate shot to go as high as No. 1 overall.

An ever-improving Duke basketball freshman

Between Duke’s two double-digit victories last week — a 76-64 win on the road against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Wednesday and an 88-73 win at home over the NC State Wolfpack on Saturday — Paolo Banchero totaled 45 points and 13 rebounds. Plus, the 6-foot-10, 250-pound power forward did so while shooting 55.9 percent from the field.

ALSO READ: Top 5 plays from Duke’s pleasing win over NC State

Now, Banchero is averaging a team-high 17.9 points and 7.4 rebounds this season while shooting 52.8 percent from the field, 34.0 percent from downtown, and 76.1 from the charity stripe. And across five contests in ACC play thus far, the former five-star recruit from Seattle has put up 21.0 points and 7.6 boards per game.

Also worth noting, the mere 19-year-old is currently riding a three-game streak with 20 or more points.

Paolo Banchero and the No. 6 Duke Blue Devils (14-2, 4-1 ACC) now head to Tallahassee to take on the unranked Florida State Seminoles (10-5, 4-2 ACC) at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday.

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Stay tuned to Ball Durham for more on Paolo Banchero’s award-winning freshman campaign plus other Duke basketball news and views.