Banchero misses, Duke sinks: what a blow from Ohio State

The future blue closes with 14 points but plays the worst game of his career in college. His Blue Devils, who became number 1 in the ranking, lose for the first time this season

A lesson. In the eighth game in college, Paolo Banchero knows for the first time the bitter taste of defeat, with his Duke falling 71-66 on the Ohio State field from number 1 in the NCAA ranking. The future Azzurri plays his worst game so far, still closing with 14 points and 5 rebounds but terribly suffering the physique of EJ Liddell, one of the heroes of the magical evening of the Buckeyes (the school in which Amedeo Della Valle also played) closed with the students who invade the parquet of the Value City Arena for a feat that goes on file as the most sensational of this first month of college basketball.


This time it’s not the cramps that limit Banchero. Paolo made a mistake right from the start: he is not as explosive as usual, he is not decided in the plays, in the lunges with the iron, in defense. It was his first time away (Duke had played 5 at home and two on neutral pitch before this match, his debut in New York against Kentucky and the super-match against Gonzaga and Chet Holmgren, Banchero’s rival for the first overall pick. at Draft Nba 2022, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas) and for the first time showed the uncertainties of a freshman. The marking of Liddell, an all-physical third year that in a Draft Nba key can aspire to a call at the latest in the second round, sends him out of control: the Ohio State player is a wall against which Paolo crashes soon (4/14 shooting), a cumbersome presence that keeps him away from the iron and forces him to work hard to do even the simplest things. Banchero finds some rhythm in the final of the first half, still closed with 10 points and 4/7 shooting, as a top scorer of his team together with Wendell Moore Jr (with Banchero in double figures, 17 points, for the Blue Devils) but with three fouls, a situation that limits him in defense throughout the second half. In the second half the promised blue sinks like his, who fight with the basket (7/31 from the field after the break) and are slowly reassembled by a team that has much less talent but that brings out the character. Banchero misses all 6 shots attempted in the second half, including the floater that would have put Duke ahead 48 “from the end, after the overtaking signed by Liddell from the line with 1’03” to play, and the triple of the possible hook on 69 even, taken from a sidereal distance with 15 ”on the stopwatch. Banchero is much better than he played on Ohio State court: his team needed him and he couldn’t make a difference, but this defeat must turn into a valuable lesson, a reminder that no matter how talented you are, you will have to. always dealing with difficult evenings like the one that Paolo lived in the home of the Buckeyes.


After playing 8 games in 22 days, Duke stops for two weeks: the next game of the Blue Devils is Tuesday, December 14 at home against South Carolina State. For Banchero the opportunity to work on his game and try to solve those cramping problems that stopped him in what have been the two most important races of the season so far.


Banchero 14 points (3/11 from two, 1/3 from three, 5/6 free throws), 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 recovery and 4 fouls in 37 ‘.

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Banchero misses, Duke sinks: what a blow from Ohio State