Duke got Freshman Forward Paolo Banchero this year, who is potentially the number one pick in the NBA draft this upcoming year. Paolo has played incredible this season in his eight games, being a big reason they halted Gonzaga’s undefeated record, scoring twenty-one points that game. Paolo has a very good chance to play in the NBA by next year and be a staple player just based off of the small sample size we’ve seen at Duke, but in that small sample size, a glaring problem has arose. Usually with player worries this early it could be shooting streaks, form stuff, or injuries, and this is in the injury category in a way. If you’ve ever tried to lose seven pounds, it’s difficult, it takes time, but just from sweating Paolo loses that every single game Duke plays.
More often than most would want to see, Paolo is on the sideline dealing with cramps. In Duke’s loss against Ohio State, the trainers ran a sweat test on Paolo, figuring out he had lost seven pounds in that game. This loss of fluids makes him cramping up happen much more often than your usual player, and now Duke’s sports management department is having him drink an oxygenated fluid that will hopefully help with the cramps. Paolo was taken out of games against Gonzaga and Kentucky, both games he was crucial in. Coach K has been reported saying Paolo has gone into the locker room and has required an IV to take the edge off the issue.
Duke has said and detailed this as a short term issue, but it seems like it has hindered him the whole season. Regardless of his sweating issues, Banchero is averaging just under eighteen points per game while also shooting 50% from the field. While it is rare to hear this happening in sports, Banchero could be at a serious disadvantage the entire season if Duke does not figure it out. The big question is, will he fall in the NBA draft if his sweating issues don’t stop? Will he get seriously injured during a game during dehydration? All are scary to think about, but Paolo is a very solid and polished player and could be an NBA stud.