Duke’s Paolo Banchero Makes Statement In Win Over Chet Holmgren, No. 1 Gonzaga: ‘He Will Be the No. 1 Pick | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Monday / July 4.
  • Duke’s Paolo Banchero Makes Statement In Win Over Chet Holmgren, No. 1 Gonzaga: ‘He Will Be the No. 1 Pick

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Two weeks after announcing his presence to the college basketball world with an impressive performance against Kentucky at Madison Square Garden, Duke freshman Paolo Banchero helped solidify his status as the presumed No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft with another breakout performance against No. 1-ranked Gonzaga in Las Vegas.

    “He will be No. 1 [because of] his size, strength and ability to score at all 3 levels,” one of the 60 NBA GMs and scouts said after Banchero’s performance Friday night in No. 5 Duke’s 84-81 win over the Bulldogs.

    In going for 21 points, five rebounds and two assists while battling cramps in the second half, the 6-foot-10, 250-pound Seattle native displayed his full arsenal. He pulled up for jump shots in transition, drained 3-pointers (making 3-of-8) and bullied his way past the 7-foot-1, 195-pound Holmgren for baskets.

    “It was Paolo Banchero and it really wasn’t even close. He looked like the No. 1 pick today,” ESPN draft analyst Mike Schmitz said on air after the game.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.