Paolo Banchero – O Dea – 2019 NBPA Top 100 Camp
Go ahead and pencil Duke in for another top recruiting class in the 2021 cycle. The Blue Devils landed a commitment from five-star forward Paolo Banchero on Thursday, their second five-star commitment in the 2021 class.
Banchero, who is from Seattle, also considered Kentucky, Washington, Gonzaga, Arizona. He is considered the No. 3 overall prospect in the 2021 class, according to the 247Sports Composite.
At Duke, he will join forces with another top-five prospect from the class in AJ Griffin, a small forward from White Plains, New York. Griffin is ranked No. 5 in the 247Sports Composite. Together, the duo gives Duke a solid early foundation for its 2021 class.
The Blue Devils have finished with a top-three recruiting class for seven years in a row as they have fully embraced the pursuit of likely one-and-done prospects. Banchero figures to be another candidate to leave for the NBA after his freshman season.
At 6-foot-9 and 235 pounds, he has the size and athleticism to fit in a modern NBA that requires positional versatility. Here is his 247Sports scouting report, as written by national recruiting analyst Josh Gershon:
Respectable size for post with decent length, wide shoulders and a very good frame. Strong for his age but has plenty of room to grow into frame. Shouldn’t have issues increasing strength. Best from high post where he can hit jumpers, take bigger defenders off dribble or use his outstanding vision to find cutters. Terrific rebounder. Uses his size and basketball IQ to protect rim. Should be able to play both the four and five at college level. Improving efficiency from perimeter would take game to next level and greatly impact his NBA upside. Projects as a high level performer at high major level. Has first-round upside with continued development.