Grayson Allen is staying put
In something of a surprising bit of news, Duke junior guard Grayson Allen has announced that he’ll be returning to school for his senior season.
“The last few weeks have provided the opportunity for a lot of reflection and prayer,” Allen said. “I’m a firm believer that when something feels right, you go with it. The chance to play with next year’s team just felt right. I’m completely focused on helping Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) and our staff lead this team to a special season. I love being a Duke student, and continuing to be part of the university culture is something I don’t take for granted.”
Allen has had an interesting season that saw him go from potential a mid-first-round pick to likely second round pick while emerging as one of college basketball’s biggest villains.
The 6-5 guard broke onto the national scene in a big way as a sophomore, leading Duke in scoring with 21.6 points a game, while adding 4.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.3 steals a contest and shooting nearly 42% from outside the arc.
Allen never really found a groove this season after missing time early due to injuries. His numbers dropped across the board to 14.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 0.8 steals a night, while his outside shooting dropped to 36%.
The temperamental junior was unable to shake his habit of tripping people (he appeared to do it twice as a sophomore), with a handful of further instances this season, culminating in a suspension late in the season.
He was also unable to contain his emotions after being called for a technical foul as a result of slamming the ball in frustration during Duke’s game against Clemson in the ACC tournament.
Assuming Allen is able to mature prior to his senior season, this is a huge win for the Blue Devils. The team is already losing Jayson Tatum, Luke Kennard, and Harry Giles to the NBA Draft, Amile Jefferson to graduation and Chase Jeter and Sean Obi to transfer.
Despite the disappointing year, everything that applied to Allen following his sophomore season still applies. Assuming he’s able to focus himself, he has the potential to be one of the top players in college basketball next season and a potential first-round NBA Draft pick in 2018.
Also published on Medium.