Duke basketball takeaways from victory against Michigan State:
Paolo Banchero’s Defense
Paolo Banchero is bigger and more athletic than Joey Hauser. And the Blue Devil freshman elevated his defensive game on Sunday night.
One of the biggest criticisms of the forward’s abilities has been on the defensive end, but his block on Hauser with 1:45 left in the second half was his best defensive sequence of the season. It preserved a one-point Duke lead.
Jeremy Roach’s critical 3-pointer happened on the offensive possession following Banchero’s block.
Paolo Banchero went for 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and a block in the game as the ACC Freshman of the Year appeared to be even more focused and engaged on Sunday than he was on Friday night.
Duke will need the same defensive intensity from Banchero in San Francisco.