'21 WA PF Paolo Banchero

#54

Lefteye

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#54
Am I blind or do I see very little comparisons between him and Kevin Durant?
He has a nice handle and soft touch for a kid his size. He’s playing against high school competition and good players(at any level) take what the defense gives you so he has a lot of finishes around the rim.

Have you seen video of KD in high school? It wasn’t all 30 footers and 15-20 ft pull ups over folks.

Also keep in mind while not over promising you’ve still got to properly recruit the kid
 
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#58

MoB_MoVols

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#58
Firmly in the discussion to end up as the top ranked player in his class Banchero (6-foot-9, 215 pounds), from Seattle, made the cross country trek to see the Vols this weekend. Simply getting him on campus was something of a coup, and the competition Tennessee is facing here speaks to both the kind of prospect he is and how how the Vols have reason in the eyes of recruits. He’s taken three other official visits this fall; to Duke, Kentucky and North Carolina, with his final junior year official visit slated for Gonzaga in January. Based on that list, the Vols are going against national championship caliber programs, the ‘Blue Bloods’ of the sport, but Banchero didn’t see a great distinction between Tennessee and his other suitors. “Tennessee stacked up really well, I liked it a lot. It was my first time ever being out here. What stood out the most was just watching practice and the way it feels like a family environment. The practices were really intense and I liked that,” Banchero said.
“It’s really just where I fit the best, that’s what’s most important to me, where I feel most comfortable. I want to find some place that I can call home. A little bit of what goes into my decision is what the program has done in the past but not too much. Tennessee of late has been really good. They were No. 1 in the country last year, a top-10 all year, so it’s not like they’re a slouch.”
Virtually every prospect that takes a serious look at Tennessee and finds out what the program is about mentions that the player development that’s taken place under Barnes and his staff is a big draw. That’s become even more the case after unheralded high school recruits like Grant Williams, Admiral Schofield and Jordan Bone heard their names called at this past summer’s NBA draft. It’s certainly something that Banchero has noticed and something that appeals to him even more after getting a closer look at the program. “The player development that they’ve had here is kind of the main thing that I’ve noticed from afar watching Tennessee. Early on I didn’t know much about Tennessee or the coaches but I always saw how they developed a lot of their players,” he said.
“So when they called me and offered I was interested from the jump just because of what Coach Barnes and his staff have been able to do. At Texas he coached Kevin Durant, Lamarcus Aldridge and a lot of other pros. I like how he’s been able to develop the guys that he’s had.” Because of their size and versatility comparisons between Banchero and former Barnes’ protege Kevin Durant are inevitable. They’re not completely identical as prospects, and it’s a bit unfair to compare a high school junior to one of the best players in the NBA, but given Banchero’s obvious talent, it’s unavoidable that it’s going to happen. Barnes talked with Banchero about the steps Durant took during his one year stop under him at Texas that helped turn him into a perennial NBA All-Star and shared that he could help him follow a similar path if he were to end up in Knoxville. “His message to me was that he can prepare me for the next level. Even if I am a one year player he’s going to coach me hard. He kind of compared it to Kevin Durant’s situation. He said that Kevin came in and asked him to just stay on him and coach him hard,” Banchero said of the message from Tennessee’s head coach.
“As far as on the court stuff he told me that he would put the ball in my hands all over the court. He stressed not just putting me in the box because I thrive when the ball is in my hands and I’m able to make plays for others or myself. So he talked about getting me the ball in places all over the floor, not boxing me in or giving me certain areas on the court where I could only go.”
Don’t look for Banchero to make a decision any time soon. He’s taking full advantage of the NCAA’s recent rule change that allows high school juniors to make official visits, but he recently shot down some rampant speculation that he was looking to reclassify into the 2020 class. “I want to get a solid feel for my recruiting as early as possible. That was my goal going into taking these visits. I don’t want to waste any time. A lot of people assumed I was going to reclassify up because of me taking these visits, but honestly I just wanted to start getting a feel for these different programs,” he said of his thought process. “I’m comfortable leaving home if I find a place that I think is the best fit for me. I’ve been comfortable at all the places I’ve been to. I don’t think distance will be a factor for me.” Rivals rates Banchero as a five-star prospect and the No. 2 overall player in the Class of 2021.
-VQ
 
#60

Dallasbowlin

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#60
I like how he mentions the family environment, then a few sentences later mentions he wants to go somewhere he’s comfortable. I think we’ll be in this one for the long haul. Not predicting we land him because I’m not absolutely bonkers, but we’ll be there till the end IMO.
 
#61

TheMookieMonster

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#61
The key here is landing a second official visit from him in Fall 2020 should he decide to utilize them. I'll start to believe that Deacon Barnes can pull off this coup if we bring him back to campus again.
 
#62

cncchris33

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#62
I find myself with low expectations related to the possibility of us landing PB. Mostly because we could fall back to earth a little bit as a program this season, and become a little bit less of a household name, particularly on the west coast. Given his current group of schools, which also includes Washington who possibly might be the favorite, and the idea that he will have to trim that list of schools down at some point, Tennessee just seems like the easiest cut, to me. And that will only become easier if we go 18-13 or 19-12 and struggle to make the NCAAT. We know reinforcements are on the way, but Banchero’s recruitment will likely be finished by the time we see the fruits of their labor.

Still, it is nice to be in the picture for a top-5 kid who lives 2000 miles, 3 time zones, and a very different culture away from Knoxville for a program that is not a blue blood. Hopefully, just being involved with a kid of Banchero’s I’ll continues to raise our recruiting profile, and we see the payoff in subsequent classes.
 
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#63

VFL49er

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#63
I find myself with low expectations related to the possibility of us landing PB. Mostly because we could fall back to earth a little bit as a program this season, and become a little bit less of a household name, particularly on the west coast. Given his current group of schools, which also includes Washington who possibly might be the favorite, and the idea that he will have to trim that list of schools down at some point, Tennessee just seems like the easiest cut, to me. And that will only become easier if we go 18-13 or 19-12 and struggle to make the NCAAT. We know reinforcements are on the way, but Banchero’s recruitment will likely be finished by the time we see the fruits of their labor.

Still, it is nice to be in the picture for a top-5 kid who lives 2000 miles, 3 time zones, and a very different culture away from Knoxville for a program that is not a blue blood. Hopefully, just being involved with a kid of Banchero’s I’ll continues to raise our recruiting profile, and we see the payoff in subsequent classes.
Not disagreeing with your assessment, I wouldn’t know truthfully, but wouldn’t you think Barnes would maybe warn him that next year will probably end up as a bit of a rebuilding one and it’s not reflective of the program’s new elite status?
 
#64

cncchris33

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#64
Not disagreeing with your assessment, I wouldn’t know truthfully, but wouldn’t you think Barnes would maybe warn him that next year will probably end up as a bit of a rebuilding one and it’s not reflective of the program’s new elite status?
I’m sure Barnes is selling him on everything he can, and likely giving every assurance possible that things are heading in the right direction, which we as Tennessee fans universally agree with. Those are simply things that Cal, Coach K, Mark Few, and Roy Williams don’t ever have to say, though, so it has to be a consideration for a kid willing to move cross-country to play college ball. I have all the faith in the world in Barnes and staff’s ability to sell their vision. I just hope this kid is buying into it given his other options.
 
#65

walkenvol

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#65
All we’ve heard on why Springer and gang are signing on is 3-4 years of relationship building along with putting these past guys in the league. Throw in proven player development and a family atmosphere and outstanding facilities. Which of these goes away if we only win 19 games this year?
 
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#66

cncchris33

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#66
All we’ve heard on why Springer and gang are signing on is 3-4 years of relationship building along with putting these past guys in the league. Throw in proven player development and a family atmosphere and outstanding facilities. Which of these goes away if we only win 19 games this year?
Again, those are things that those other schools offer as well, and none of them will have to likely answer for a “down year”. I am not saying there is no way we land him. I’m just saying that we are in uncharted territory with a kid like this. We have no built in advantage like we did with Springer (AAU Coach is a former TN player) or Johnson (proximity, home state, and AAU Coach was a former TN player).

If we land Banchero, it will be solely based on us outworking the big boys, and if we allow ourselves to remove all of our bias, it isn’t difficult to look at his top schools and see which one sticks out. I won’t be disappointed at us not landing PB if he goes elsewhere because the cards are stacked against us, or at best, they aren’t stacked in our favor. On the flip side, if we land him, Barnes and his staff have put themselves squarely on the map of the college basketball landscape. He’s just another recruiting win for Duke or UK. He is a monumental, program-defining coup for a program like Tennessee.
 
#67

TheMookieMonster

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#67
I'm not predicting that we land PB, but one of the few things Gonzaga has going for them, and Washington to boot, is proximity. If those are two of the schools we're competing with for final spots on his official visits next fall then I'm feeling confident we aren't the first team cut. Gonzaga is a good program, but they play in a terrible conference and most of their exposure is limited, because let's be fair, they're still a mid-major program on the West coast playing 10:00 PM games. The PAC-12 is also a much weaker conference than it once was so I don't think it's a hard sell on facilities, competition, exposure, etc. to tell PB that Tennessee is a better place.

As a note, I'm not dismissing Duke, UNC, UK, etc. I'm just specifically saying I'm not sure competing with Gonzaga or Washington is all that scary as neither of them are selling anything different or better than Tennessee except "close to home" and what Rob Lewis said in that post doesn't lead me to believe that proximity to his family is a priority for him.
 
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#68
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#68
I'm beginning to think the best thing next season besides having a good overall w/l record is for James to be a one and done. No, not because I don't want him here. But for him to have a special season, us be "okay to good" and him become a lottery pick, would probably keep the excitement up recruiting-wise. I'd love to see him stay a 2nd year and play with the class we just signed, but him going high in the lottery keeps our name popping up at a national level on NBA primetime events. Could help in the recruitment of a PB, etc.
 
#69

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#69
I'm beginning to think the best thing next season besides having a good overall w/l record is for James to be a one and done. No, not because I don't want him here. But for him to have a special season, us be "okay to good" and him become a lottery pick, would probably keep the excitement up recruiting-wise. I'd love to see him stay a 2nd year and play with the class we just signed, but him going high in the lottery keeps our name popping up at a national level on NBA primetime events. Could help in the recruitment of a PB, etc.
Idk man, if James comes back his sophomore year, 20-21 could be a Final Four team. I’ll take that over a recruit or two
 
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#70

TheMookieMonster

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#70
Idk man, if James comes back his sophomore year, 20-21 could be a Final Four team. I’ll take that over a recruit or two
Agreed. I don't personally think James being a one-and-done has much bearing on recruiting. These kids are smart enough to understand development and success are more nuanced than whether or not someone is a one and done. If you put aside the fact that it's Kentucky, the P.J. Washington case is the perfect example. P.J. Washington could have been a one-and-done, but he chose to come back and develop. The next year he become a stud and goes in the NBA Lottery. That speaks more to a school's success than just having someone come in and leave.
 
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#71

cncchris33

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#71
I'm not predicting that we land PB, but one of the few things Gonzaga has going for them, and Washington to boot, is proximity. If those are two of the schools we're competing with for final spots on his official visits next fall then I'm feeling confident we aren't the first team cut. Gonzaga is a good program, but they play in a terrible conference and most of their exposure is limited, because let's be fair, they're still a mid-major program on the West coast playing 10:00 PM games. The PAC-12 is also a much weaker conference than it once was so I don't think it's a hard sell on facilities, competition, exposure, etc. to tell PB that Tennessee is a better place.

As a note, I'm not dismissing Duke, UNC, UK, etc. I'm just specifically saying I'm not sure competing with Gonzaga or Washington is all that scary as neither of them are selling anything different or better than Tennessee except "close to home" and what Rob Lewis said in that post doesn't lead me to believe that proximity to his family is a priority for him.
I think some of the Gonzaga shade is warranted, but they are more than a mid-major. They play in a mid-major conference, but they play a very national OOC schedule and they recruit at a high level nationally and internationally, as well. Most of their players are 4* and high 3* players, and the occasional project player like Brandon Clarke who becomes a 1st rd pick. The addition of proximity certainly helps. Banchero seems like a kid that would likely prefer a program with more exposure, so I don’t disagree with you there. Even with their increase in player caliber and profile, a guy like Banchero seems out of their league, all things considered. At the very least, he seems to have that superstar profile that certainly doesn’t match their current roster of blue collar players.

Both of Banchero’s parents are UW alums (dad played TE on football team, mom is one of the best in Lady Huskies basketball program history) , so my guess is that they are in it to the end, and like I said before, several believe that is where he eventually ends up. I wouldn’t discount them, at all, and they have a very high recruiting profile, recently. They just signed 2 top-10 players in Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels, another top-100 kid in RaeQuan Battle, and have Quade Green and J’Raan Brooks transferring in.
 
#72

TN_gal

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#72
Corey Evans of Rivals posted a new Q&A with Paolo. Full article: Q&A with top-five junior Paolo Banchero

Tennessee excerpt:

CE: Last weekend, you went to Tennessee. What opened your eyes about that visit?

PB: Coach Rick Barnes and just how hard he coaches his guys everyday in practice. I watched two practices and I think he probably coached his guys the hardest, I would say out of all of the four. The facilities are really nice and the arena is a lot bigger than I thought. I didn’t even know much about the arena but it was huge. The fan base is crazy.

Coach Kim English, he recruits me, he is great, and just how much they stress player development, it is a big family over there. They don’t really have any big egos on their team and everybody is humble and they all want to win.

Reclassification:

CE: What are your thoughts about reclassification?

PB: I am not going to reclass. I thought about it. After talking with my parents, coaches and people that I trust, I won’t reclassify. I am going to stay in the 2021 class and finish my high school career.

Commitment timeline:

CE: Would you want to sign during the early period next year or would you want to wait things out?

PB: Ideally, I would like to commit before my senior season. That depends on how stuff goes and I could wait to do stuff after but, if it was in a perfect world, I would like to commit before my senior season in the fall, maybe sometime in November of next year.
 
#73

Willy14

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#73
Corey Evans of Rivals posted a new Q&A with Paolo. Full article: Q&A with top-five junior Paolo Banchero

Tennessee excerpt:

CE: Last weekend, you went to Tennessee. What opened your eyes about that visit?

PB: Coach Rick Barnes and just how hard he coaches his guys everyday in practice. I watched two practices and I think he probably coached his guys the hardest, I would say out of all of the four. The facilities are really nice and the arena is a lot bigger than I thought. I didn’t even know much about the arena but it was huge. The fan base is crazy.

Coach Kim English, he recruits me, he is great, and just how much they stress player development, it is a big family over there. They don’t really have any big egos on their team and everybody is humble and they all want to win.

Reclassification:

CE: What are your thoughts about reclassification?

PB: I am not going to reclass. I thought about it. After talking with my parents, coaches and people that I trust, I won’t reclassify. I am going to stay in the 2021 class and finish my high school career.

Commitment timeline:

CE: Would you want to sign during the early period next year or would you want to wait things out?

PB: Ideally, I would like to commit before my senior season. That depends on how stuff goes and I could wait to do stuff after but, if it was in a perfect world, I would like to commit before my senior season in the fall, maybe sometime in November of next year.
Getting him and Chandler on campus at the same time was huge.
 
#74

The Dog

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#74
I love the fact that Barnes coached his players the hardest and PB realized it. The great ones want to be pushed/coached hard and PB knows he will get that, from Barnes and UT
 
#75

OrangeJuicebox

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#75
Corey Evans of Rivals posted a new Q&A with Paolo. Full article: Q&A with top-five junior Paolo Banchero

Tennessee excerpt:

CE: Last weekend, you went to Tennessee. What opened your eyes about that visit?

PB: Coach Rick Barnes and just how hard he coaches his guys everyday in practice. I watched two practices and I think he probably coached his guys the hardest, I would say out of all of the four. The facilities are really nice and the arena is a lot bigger than I thought. I didn’t even know much about the arena but it was huge. The fan base is crazy.

Coach Kim English, he recruits me, he is great, and just how much they stress player development, it is a big family over there. They don’t really have any big egos on their team and everybody is humble and they all want to win.

Reclassification:

CE: What are your thoughts about reclassification?

PB: I am not going to reclass. I thought about it. After talking with my parents, coaches and people that I trust, I won’t reclassify. I am going to stay in the 2021 class and finish my high school career.

Commitment timeline:

CE: Would you want to sign during the early period next year or would you want to wait things out?

PB: Ideally, I would like to commit before my senior season. That depends on how stuff goes and I could wait to do stuff after but, if it was in a perfect world, I would like to commit before my senior season in the fall, maybe sometime in November of next year.
Doesn’t sound like lip service to me. He was genuinely impressed. We may not get him, but I see us being in it until the end.
 

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