Duke freshman Paolo Banchero has been named the ACC Freshman of the Week for the third straight week after leading the No. 9 Blue Devils to a pair of conference wins.
Banchero averaged a double-double with 15.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in wins against Clemson on Tuesday and at Louisville on Saturday. He netted a game-high 19 points versus the Tigers, including 14 in the second half, to go with seven boards and four assists. The Seattle, Wash., native took over late, hitting back-to-back buckets in the game’s final 90 seconds to seal the 71-69 victory.
He followed up with 11 points and a career-high 15 rebounds – including six on the offensive glass – with three assists at Louisville. With the game tied 60-60 with 8:28 remaining, Banchero grabbed five rebounds, had an assist, blocked a shot at the rim and made a key basket over the closing stretch as Duke outscored the Cardinals 14-5.
Banchero leads all true freshmen nationally in scoring at 17.6 points. In ACC play, he leads the league in scoring (18.9), is second in rebounding (9.4) and eighth in field goal percentage (.508). He has reached double figures in every game this season and has logged five double-doubles.
Monday’s honor marks the sixth time Banchero has been named the ACC Freshman of the Week (Nov. 15, Nov. 29, Dec. 27, Jan. 17, Jan. 24). He becomes the first Blue Devil to earn the recognition in three consecutive weeks since Jahlil Okafor during the 2014-15 season. Classmates AJ Griffin (Nov. 22) and Trevor Keels (Dec. 20) have also received the award this season, giving Duke eight ACC Freshman of the Week nods in 12 weeks. Over the last nine-plus seasons (since the start of 2013-14), Duke has had an ACC Rookie of the Week in 72 of a possible 148 weeks. Twenty-one different Blue Devils have won the award at least once in that time.