By Jack Drapkin
Grayson Allen began his freshman year in obscurity. Buried on the bench behind a pair of NBA guards in Tyus Jones and Quinn Cook, Allen didn’t see the court much. That began to change with the dismissal of junior guard Rasheed Sulaimon. Allen became the 8th man in the rotation and a 27-point breakout performance against Wake Forest soon followed. Inconsistent play and minutes would restrict Allen’s role from growing much from that point on.
However, as you all know that would prove to not matter as Allen came up huge in the Final Four games against Michigan St. and Wisconsin. Ultimately playing his way into being a deciding factor for the championship team.
Next came a sophomore season in which he led the team in scoring at 21.6 ppg and alongside Brandon Ingram, lead the Blue Devils to a respectable Sweet 16 loss against Oregon. This set up the National Player of the Year conversation that bled into the beginning of his junior season.
Allen obviously was not able to live up to that hype. He battled an ankle injury throughout the season and shot below 40% from the field for the first time in his career. He also battled his own emotions. Costly tripping incidents led to a 1-game suspension for Allen who would be stripped of his captaincy.
With a freshmen laden group, the Blue Devils will be looking for Allen to provide some veteran leadership this season. The question is does he have it within himself to provide that for his young teammates in their first season of college basketball?
It’s up to you Grayson, how will the Blue Devil Nation remember your Duke career.