Duke freshman Paolo Banchero has been named ACC Freshman of the Week after helping lead the Blue Devils to three wins in the season’s opening week.
Banchero averaged 19.3 points on .667 field goal shooting to go with 8.7 rebounds over the three games. In his collegiate debut against No. 10 Kentucky in the State Farm Champions Classic on Tuesday, he went 7-of-11 from the floor and 8-of-9 from the free throw line for 22 points, seven boards and two steals. The Seattle, Wash., native followed up with back-to-back 18-point outings in the Duke Veterans Day Weekend Showcase, while leading Duke in rebounds in both contests. In the win over Army on Friday night, he posted his first career double-double, bringing down a game-high 12 rebounds while finishing 7-of-9 from the floor. The following night versus Campbell, he went for 18 points, seven rebounds, a steal and a block in 34 minutes of work.
Through the first three games of their Duke careers, only RJ Barrett (76), Zion Williamson (76) and Jabari Parker (70) scored more points than Banchero’s 58. On the glass, only Mike Gminski (33) and Williamson (32) had more rebounds through their first three games at Duke than Banchero’s 26.
He has hit 21 of his first 31 field goal attempts (.667) – including 20-of-24 from inside the arc, and has knocked down 15 of his first 17 free throws (.882) to open the season.
Banchero is Duke’s first ACC Freshman of the Week since Jalen Johnson earned the honor on Feb. 1, 2021. Over the last eight-plus seasons, Duke has had an ACC Freshman of the Week in 65 of a possible 137 weeks. Nineteen different Blue Devils have won the award at least once in that time.
No. 7 Duke (3-0) continues a five-game home stand when it welcomes Gardner-Webb (0-2) to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Tuesday night. The game tips at 7 p.m. on the Regional Sports Networks, including Bally Sports South.