Duke freshman Paolo Banchero has been named the ACC Freshman of the Week for the second straight week after posting consecutive double-doubles against conference opponents.
Banchero averaged 17.5 points and 12.5 rebounds while shooting .545 from the field in contests at Florida State on Tuesday and against Syracuse on Saturday. In Duke’s narrow overtime loss in Tallahassee, the Seattle, Wash., native scored 20 points with 12 boards in a career-high 42 minutes. Seven of his points came in the final seven minutes of the second half to lead the Blue Devils back from a nine-point deficit, while he also dished out three assists in that span. He followed up that effort with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting with a career-high 13 rebounds and four assists in Saturday’s 79-59 win over Syracuse at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Banchero leads all true freshmen nationally in scoring at 17.9 points per game. He has netted 20+ points in eight games this season – the most among major conference true freshmen – including four of the last five. In ACC play, the rookie leads the league in scoring (20.0), is second in rebounding (9.0) and fifth in field goal percentage (.532).
Monday’s recognition marks Banchero’s fifth ACC Freshman of the Week honor this season (Nov. 15, Nov. 29, Dec. 27, Jan. 17). He becomes the first Blue Devil to be named ACC Freshman of the Week in back-to-back weeks since RJ Barrett on Dec. 3 and Dec. 10, 2018. Classmates AJ Griffin (Nov. 22) and Trevor Keels (Dec. 20) have also received the award this season, giving Duke seven ACC Freshman of the Week nods in 11 weeks. Over the last nine-plus seasons (since the start of 2013-14), Duke has had an ACC Rookie of the Week in 71 of a possible 147 weeks. Twenty-one different Blue Devils have won the award at least once in that time.