Elite 2021 PF Paolo Banchero commits to Duke; Blue Devils off and running

Paolo Banchero is headed to the Bull City. In a bit of a recruiting surprise, Duke landed a commitment from one of the elite prospects of the 2021 recruiting class.

Banchero, 6-foot-9 and 235-pound prospect out of Seattle, ranks as the No. 3 overall prospect for the 2021 class. For a period of time, it seemed as though Kentucky and Tennessee were the favorites; nearby Washington was in the mix, too. However, Duke came out on top for one of the absolute best players in the 2021 cycle.

247 Sports ranks Banchero as the No. 1 overall power forward in the class, too.

Duke is in the process of building a special 2021 recruiting class, which we discussed in this space back in June. Last November, the Blue Devils landed a commitment from 5-star wing AJ Griffin, the No. 5 overall prospect for 2021.

The Blue Devils are also in on 5-star forward Caleb Houston, who reclassified to 2021 shortly after Duke extended an offer earlier this summer.

Duke is also in the running for 5-star Patrick Baldwin Jr., a 6-foot-9 power forward with plenty of NBA potential. Experts at both Rivals and 247 Sports have Duke as the favorite.

Banchero is a special prospect, though. He’s an elite blend of power, size, athleticism and skill. He can bully high school opponents around the rim or step up and hit off-dribble jumpers. Banchero has ridiculous tools for a big man, too.

Along with Griffin, Banchero obviously projects as a one-and-done talent and will be in the running for the No. 1 pick in 2022.


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