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  1. #1201
    Here are some more Paolo highlights.



    He's roughly listed at 6'10" and 250 lbs. He's a very interesting prospect. There's the grab-and-go rebounding, the ability to handle the ball with either hand (he drives left as much or more in this clip as he does with his dominant right hand), the strength and athleticism, and shooting touch is unreal for someone that size. He appears to be a more polished Julius Randle to me. He looks a lot like Carlos Boozer in stature but moves with the ball like Jayson Tatum (no as smooth, but not that far off). His shot seems more advanced at this stage than Tatum. Paolo is making stepback jumpers with ease and regularity. He's going to be such a monster in college because he can get his shot from nearly anywhere on the court and then post up on the block. He's not as explosive as Marvin Bagley III, but I could see him playing a similar role, dominating the boards and using his first step and leaping ability to get second chances and dunks. And then on top of all of that, he's got the passing vision. There's a moment in this clip where he pulls up for a jumper, recognizes it is a bad shot, and kicks it to an open jumper. That's high-level stuff from a player his age and size. He's going to be a huge problem for opposing defenses and then will create open looks for others.

    One thing I've been wondering is how he would play with Mark Williams. Seeing this, I think he's more of a PF than a C but could play either position in college. I guess I would say that he can defend either position in college. I think we'll see Paolo and Mark on the court a lot and then see smaller lineups, 5-out from time to time, with Paolo and Griffin or Paolo and Brakefield.

    Exciting stuff.

  2. #1202
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkirsh View Post
    He is just so much bigger and stronger than anyone else on the floor in that video; it makes him look like one of the Monstars from Space Jam
    I tend to be skeptical when viewing highlight videos where the featured player is 4-6 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than everyone else on the court. Does anyone know what level of competition this is?

  3. #1203
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    Quote Originally Posted by UrinalCake View Post
    I tend to be skeptical when viewing highlight videos where the featured player is 4-6 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than everyone else on the court. Does anyone know what level of competition this is?
    Yeah, let's see him against college players. Oh, wait...

    I'm not meaning to be critical of your comment at all, which I agree with in spirit. But this is where my thinking eventually settled after viewing the video and having an initial reaction very similar to yours.

  4. #1204
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    Yep

    Quote Originally Posted by UrinalCake View Post
    I tend to be skeptical when viewing highlight videos where the featured player is 4-6 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than everyone else on the court. Does anyone know what level of competition this is?
    And I'm equally skeptical of being able to assess a player's ability to defend based on highlight videos. (I will note that Banchero was at times matched up against a player that looked 50 pounds heavier than Banchero, but significantly shorter. )

  5. #1205
    Quote Originally Posted by UrinalCake View Post
    I tend to be skeptical when viewing highlight videos where the featured player is 4-6 inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than everyone else on the court. Does anyone know what level of competition this is?
    The team in the highlights is Colorado Prep. I looked up a few players on that team and where they rank.

    #0 Mouhammed Mbaye, Senegal, 6'9" SF, offers from Arizona State, Louisville, Rutgers, Iona (Rick Pitino), and Bryant
    #14 Brock Wisne, Colorado, 6'7" F, offers from Denver and Northern Colorado

    I couldn't find much on some of their other players, like the really big kid. He appears to be named Mouhammed Mboup, also of Senegal, and is 6'9" and 290 lbs. It appears that Colorado Prep has a number of D-1 prospects but none that I can find that are ranked in the 247Sports Top 100. It looks like good competition but not great. Of course, Paolo has been dominating against high major recruits on the AAU circuit for years. The chances of him being a dud are very, very low.

  6. #1206
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    The chances of him being a dud are very, very low.
    Agree, enthusiastically. Easily the most impressive thing is his handle. Very few guys at 69+ ever develop that kind of handle. Court vision and passing impressive, too. But the handle stands out. I didnt expect that.

    Id expect Banchero and Williams to be quite effective as a 4-5 pair. Williams is so tall that he made a few nice entry passes into Hurt this season. Id expect that he and Banchero could do some nice things high-low, with each able to be the passer or receiver.

  7. #1207
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    Straw man much?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    The chances of him being a dud are very, very low.
    I don't think any of us who are skeptical about the highlight video of Mr. Banchero think there is any risk that he will be a dud. He will no doubt be a fine player. But I still don't know how you think you can tell that he will be able to play the "4" defensively based on these videos.

  8. #1208
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    Quote Originally Posted by gumbomoop View Post
    Agree, enthusiastically. Easily the most impressive thing is his handle. Very few guys at 6’9”+ ever develop that kind of handle. Court vision and passing impressive, too. But the handle stands out. I didn’t expect that.

    I’d expect Banchero and Williams to be quite effective as a 4-5 pair. Williams is so tall that he made a few nice entry passes into Hurt this season. I’d expect that he and Banchero could do some nice things high-low, with each able to be the passer or receiver.
    Yeah, been thinking about the advantages of having two bigs of that quality. Banchero in particular appears to be very versatile, could play the 3, 4, or 5 positions it seems.

    Has Duke ever had 2 big men at the same time of this ability?
    Brand and Battier -- very effective, and complimentary, but not of this length
    Boozer and Battier -- very effective
    Bagley and Wendell Carter?

  9. #1209
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    Appreciate the info on the level of competition - I was legitimately asking because I am not familiar with what sort of high school league he plays in. He reminds me a bit of Jabari Parker in terms of a guy with size who can also handle and shoot. I mentioned this a while back but I remember shortly after he committed, Banchero tweeted something to the effect of saying he doesn't expect to play the 5 at Duke. I wish I could dig it up now. I do think he'll wind up playing center some when we go to smaller lineups, but I think our preferred lineup will have him next to Williams which would give us a ton of size.

  10. #1210
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    scottdude8 is offline Contributor, Zoubek disciple, and resident Wolverine
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    I think a front court of Banchero and Williams would be incredible. Banchero seems to project as a legitimate stretch 4 but with a 5's size. We all know what Mark brings to the table, and more importantly how much Matt's performance has improved playing alongside him. If I had to wildly speculate, a freshman Banchero looks like he'll be more athletic than Matt, but obviously not nearly as good of a shooter (although he seems to have that ability), and shot-making something that will be difficult to assess until he's on campus playing against high-caliber competition. But that tag-team could be fun to watch, and has the potential to be beastly defensively and on the glass.

    The thing I love about that possibility is that, even though Mark has to work on his defensive agility, he's shown he's got good straight-line speed when it comes to running the floor. Can you imagine a fast break with Banchero and Williams screaming down the wings, or with Banchero grabbing a board and taking it himself with Williams running with him? How does a defense guard against that?

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again... adding Banchero and Griffin to the core we have this year, assuming that there is some freshman-to-sophomore jump from our guards and our guys coalesce after going through the fire that has been this season, could make for a fun 2022.
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  11. #1211
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    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    I don't think any of us who are skeptical about the highlight video of Mr. Banchero think there is any risk that he will be a dud. He will no doubt be a fine player. But I still don't know how you think you can tell that he will be able to play the "4" defensively based on these videos.
    He moves exceptionally well for a guy that size. I would be surprised if he isn't able to guard college 4s. We won't have much choice, anyways. He and Mark will most likely be 2 of the best 3 or 4 players on the team next year and it wouldn't make much sense to not have them both on the floor at the same time.

  12. #1212
    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    I don't think any of us who are skeptical about the highlight video of Mr. Banchero think there is any risk that he will be a dud. He will no doubt be a fine player. But I still don't know how you think you can tell that he will be able to play the "4" defensively based on these videos.
    I don't understand the title of your post, "Straw Man Much?"?? I was just explaining my view. I wasn't taking a dig at anyone. I wasn't even responding to an argument. I was just writing up my enthusiasm for this young man. It's kind of odd that you took my comments in this direction.

    What I think is that Banchero is on the level of recruit of some of the best Duke has brought in recently, guys like Zion, Tatum, Bagley, Okafor, etc. I have no idea how he's going to play defense. He seems very mobile for a player his size. If he does play the 4 and struggles to stay in front of his man or gets beat in pick-and-roll when switching onto a smaller defender, I have confidence Mark Williams is going to help him in a number of ways. For starters, Williams is going to erase a lot of mistakes. Another thing about Williams is that he is very animated and vocal on the court. That's a rare attribute for a center. You see him calling out rotations to Matthew Hurt (who is improving on defense to being slightly below average, I might add). Having Williams there to direct Banchero makes me think the pairing could work. So when you add up the physical skills, attributes, basketball IQ, and all the quotes and scouting reports I have read on Banchero, it makes me excited. I think he's going to be very good and at worst an All-ACC Freshman Team member.

  13. #1213
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    I think a front court of Banchero and Williams would be incredible. Banchero seems to project as a legitimate stretch 4 but with a 5's size. We all know what Mark brings to the table, and more importantly how much Matt's performance has improved playing alongside him. If I had to wildly speculate, a freshman Banchero looks like he'll be more athletic than Matt, but obviously not nearly as good of a shooter (although he seems to have that ability), and shot-making something that will be difficult to assess until he's on campus playing against high-caliber competition. But that tag-team could be fun to watch, and has the potential to be beastly defensively and on the glass.

    The thing I love about that possibility is that, even though Mark has to work on his defensive agility, he's shown he's got good straight-line speed when it comes to running the floor. Can you imagine a fast break with Banchero and Williams screaming down the wings, or with Banchero grabbing a board and taking it himself with Williams running with him? How does a defense guard against that?

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again... adding Banchero and Griffin to the core we have this year, assuming that there is some freshman-to-sophomore jump from our guards and our guys coalesce after going through the fire that has been this season, could make for a fun 2022.
    Quote Originally Posted by MChambers View Post
    I don't think any of us who are skeptical about the highlight video of Mr. Banchero think there is any risk that he will be a dud. He will no doubt be a fine player. But I still don't know how you think you can tell that he will be able to play the "4" defensively based on these videos.
    Let me first say that I'm very excited about getting Banchero. He is a game-changing talent, as is Griffin (but in a different way). That being said, I think MChambers' comment is fairly spot-on. The issue of high school bigs and their ability to play the "4" defensively is one that is hard to assess based on high school tape, but the general rule I have is that they are more likely to not be able to do it (at least as freshman) as they are to be able. Guys like Carey, Hurt, Carter, etc. have all shown in recent years that they weren't really able to defend the college 4*, nor defend on the perimeter in general.

    So with that in mind, I think it is a legitimate question as to whether or not Banchero can defend at the college 4. I don't have a ton of doubt that he can handle it offensively, although I'd like to see a bit more data on his 3pt shot before feeling fully on board there. But defensively, it very much remains to be seen in my opinion. What little we saw of his defense in that video screamed "college 5" to me.

    Now, what IS intriguing is that even if he can't defend the college 4, he and Williams and Griffin could form an incredibly imposing back 3 in a 2-3 zone. If Moore and Steward are at the top of that zone, it could be quite lengthy and imposing. So there's at least an "out" in that regard if the team wants to play Banchero and Williams together but finds it difficult to manage as teams go smaller and more perimeter oriented. And of course there is certainly the possibility that Banchero could defend at the 4, at least well enough to allow for the potential advantages we could get on the other end by having Williams on the floor too.

    That being said, I'm still of the opinion that Banchero will see somewhere near half his time next year at center.

    * The college 4 is typically more like what folks think of as a "traditional" SF, and sometimes is even more like a guard; most teams play 3 guards and a forward, and that forward is usually shorter, quicker, andmore perimeter-oriented and skilled like a small forward. Few teams play like UNC and have a traditional PF (or C) playing PF.

  14. #1214
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottdude8 View Post
    Can you imagine a fast break with Banchero and Williams screaming down the wings, or with Banchero grabbing a board and taking it himself with Williams running with him? How does a defense guard against that?.
    RunAway.jpg

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  15. #1215
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    Here

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    I don't understand the title of your post, "Straw Man Much?"?? I was just explaining my view. I wasn't taking a dig at anyone. I wasn't even responding to an argument. I was just writing up my enthusiasm for this young man. It's kind of odd that you took my comments in this direction.

    What I think is that Banchero is on the level of recruit of some of the best Duke has brought in recently, guys like Zion, Tatum, Bagley, Okafor, etc. I have no idea how he's going to play defense. He seems very mobile for a player his size. If he does play the 4 and struggles to stay in front of his man or gets beat in pick-and-roll when switching onto a smaller defender, I have confidence Mark Williams is going to help him in a number of ways. For starters, Williams is going to erase a lot of mistakes. Another thing about Williams is that he is very animated and vocal on the court. That's a rare attribute for a center. You see him calling out rotations to Matthew Hurt (who is improving on defense to being slightly below average, I might add). Having Williams there to direct Banchero makes me think the pairing could work. So when you add up the physical skills, attributes, basketball IQ, and all the quotes and scouting reports I have read on Banchero, it makes me excited. I think he's going to be very good and at worst an All-ACC Freshman Team member.
    You wrote "The chances of him being a dud are very, very low."

    Nobody suggested he was going to be a dud, or anything close to it. That's what bothered me.

  16. #1216
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    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    Now, what IS intriguing is that even if he can't defend the college 4, he and Williams and Griffin could form an incredibly imposing back 3 in a 2-3 zone. If Moore and Steward are at the top of that zone, it could be quite lengthy and imposing. So there's at least an "out" in that regard if the team wants to play Banchero and Williams together but finds it difficult to manage as teams go smaller and more perimeter oriented. And of course there is certainly the possibility that Banchero could defend at the 4, at least well enough to allow for the potential advantages we could get on the other end by having Williams on the floor too.

    That being said, I'm still of the opinion that Banchero will see somewhere near half his time next year at center.
    Ah, now we have some clear issues for the 2021-22 minutes thread (which mercifully should be months off when the full roster is known for sure).

    What will be the primary defense and how does that correlate with certain players?
    Will Banchero need to play much at Center if Mark Williams continues to progress?
    How quickly will the new freshmen pick up defense?

  17. #1217
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    Quote Originally Posted by roywhite View Post
    Ah, now we have some clear issues for the 2021-22 minutes thread (which mercifully should be months off when the full roster is known for sure).

    What will be the primary defense and how does that correlate with certain players?
    Will Banchero need to play much at Center if Mark Williams continues to progress?
    How quickly will the new freshmen pick up defense?
    And in the unlikely event that Matt Hurt returns, the minutes discussions will be something to behold, as in that scenario Mark Williams might not even be a starter . . .

  18. #1218
    Please don't leave Matt.What % chance think we will have Hurt back next year?

  19. #1219
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattyoung18 View Post
    Please don't leave Matt.What % chance think we will have Hurt back next year?
    I would estimate somewhere from a 5-to-20% chance. We could sure use the experience and the shooting, that's for sure. It is easy to come up with arguments why he could/should stay, but those arguments are very unlikely to carry the day when measured against the arguments he will be hearing as to why he should leave.

  20. #1220
    Quote Originally Posted by tommy View Post
    I would estimate somewhere from a 5-to-20% chance. We could sure use the experience and the shooting, that's for sure. It is easy to come up with arguments why he could/should stay, but those arguments are very unlikely to carry the day when measured against the arguments he will be hearing as to why he should leave.
    It would be great to have him back- but he has passed the threshold where the college game is getting easy on the offensive end. That said the NBA is a very different game. The question is where best to work on his weaknesses.
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