Paolo Banchero Reveals He Chose Duke Blue Devils From a Shortlist of Six Colleges

Published 04/27/2021, 5:00 PM EDT
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 19: Paolo Banchero #5 of O’Dea High School against Blanche Ely High School during the City of Palms Classic Day 2 at Suncoast Credit Union Arena on December 19, 2019 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)


The Duke Blue Devils look loaded for their revenge season. After missing out on the NCAA Tournament after 24 consecutive appearances, the Blue Devils have a lot to prove next season. They have put together yet another outstanding recruiting class, headlined by Paolo Banchero. Banchero is a top-three player in this recruiting class and a bonafide 5* recruit.

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As a result of his high status, Banchero had a number of schools to choose from for his college career. At that level, all the schools are usually top D1 programs. He was heavily recruited by other blue-bloods like Kentucky and UNC, along with the powerful Gonzaga Bulldogs. But Banchero selected Duke and gave insight into the process.

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“I cut it down to 9 after my junior season started and cut it to 6 after. Right when COVID hit is when I cut it down. I think the nine was easy because even though all the schools call you like in the first couple days, some then don’t continue to contact you for whatever reason. That handled itself.

He added, “It was picking the school I like. It was the one I had a relationship with. And then, from the six, I knew I didn’t want to narrow it down from that and pick. That’s what I did. I took time and talked to everybody and then finally came up with my decision. But for a minute, there was a four-way tie.”

Duke Blue Devils: Will Banchero fit Coach K’s plans?

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COLUMBIA, SC – MARCH 24: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils watches his team warm up before taking on the UCF Knights in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Photos via Getty Images Men’s Basketball Tournament held at Colonial Life Arena on March 24, 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

The Duke Blue Devils have a massive season ahead of them. They have to redeem themselves as the top team that they have always been regarded as. The 2020-21 season failure will be forgotten if they can have a good season now. The COVID restrictions really crippled the franchise, with a positive test ruling out their chances to make March Madness. Mike Krzyzewski was unhappy throughout the season.

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But Banchero is a tremendous talent. We have seen tremendous talents like Jalen Johnson fail to do well last season so that air of caution will surround Banchero while heading into the Duke system. But the modern NBA reflects why Duke is the best university to go to for prospects that eventually want to be in the NBA.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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