Five-star power forward Paolo Banchero released his list of top six finalists as the 6-foot-9, 235 pounder from the class of 2021 narrows his college search.
Banchero is the No. 4 prospect in the class of 2021, according to 247Sports, and the top-rated power forward.
His list of finalists, posted on his Twitter account, includes Duke, as well as Arizona, Gonzaga, Kentucky, Tennessee and Washington.
Arizona was a late entrant into the battle for Banchero. The Wildcats weren’t included on his list of nine leaders, released last September. Arizona just offered him a scholarship earlier this week, which apparently helped it make the cut.
Cut from that list of leaders were: Baylor, Georgetown, Memphis and North Carolina. Banchero visited the Tar Heels on an official junior visit in September. He also took official visits to top-six finalists Tennessee, Gonzaga, Kentucky and Duke.
Banchero told Rivals that Duke stands out for him because the Blue Devils have had the last three National Freshmen of the Year. Coach Mike Krzyzewski has also talked to Banchero about coaching LeBron James and Kevin Durant while he was head coach of Team USA.
Banchero told Rivals that the Duke pitch is, “Just allowing me to be a basketball player. … One thing that they have stressed is that you will have the ball in your hands a lot, especially as a player like me that can pass and all that stuff. The chance to compete for a national championship, too, to have the chance to compete for a conference and national championship is their pitch.”