Duke men's basketball Player of the Week: Week 2

Grayson Allen

The statline: 

Tuesday vs. No. 2 Kentucky: six points on 2-of-11 shooting, three rebounds, one assist and one steal in 28 minutes. 

Friday vs. Virginia Commonwealth: 30 points on 9-of-15 shooting, six rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal in 37 minutes. 

Sunday vs. Georgetown: 32 points on 9-of-12 shooting, five rebounds, four assists and two steals in 38 minutes.

The good: After a poor performance in the Blue Devils’ 74-63 loss against No. 2 Kentucky, Allen decided to start with a clean slate this weekend. It worked.

Thanks to two monster performances at Madison Square Garden, Allen totaled 62 points to help Duke take home the 2K Classic crown. In Duke’s 79-71 victory against Virginia Commonwealth Friday night, the Jacksonville, Fla., native came off the bench and scored 30 points to set a new—albeit temporary—career high. With 11:15 left to play, the Blue Devils and the Rams were tied at 55 but in a one-minute span, Allen hit two free throws and drained a 3-pointer for a personal 5-0 run that started to cement Duke’s win.

The guard was hungry for more and improved his own career-high scoring numbers Sunday, notching 32 points in the Blue Devils' 86-84 thriller against Georgetown. Allen was perfect from the charity stripe—converting each of his nine attempts—and made five of his six attempts from downtown. 

The bad: Duke is struggling with turnovers early in the season and Allen was not exempted from this. The sophomore guard gave the ball away nine times—and four of those turnovers came in his clunker against the Wildcats.

Allen did not look sharp in the Blue Devils’ defeat against Kentucky in Chicago and headed to the locker room shooting 0-of-9 from the floor. The sophomore guard ended the game with only six points—the only time he's been held below 25 points all season. 

The bottom line: Allen has shown that he can become a scoring machine when aggressive and aware of his surroundings. He owns the athleticism to attack the basket regularly and also boasts a potent long-range touch.

Honorable mention: In his first year at Duke, freshman guard Derryck Thornton is looking to make an immediate impact in the Blue Devil offense. The newcomer—who graduated from high school one year earlier to join head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s squad—registered seven points against Kentucky off the bench, a career-high 19 against Virginia Commonwealth in his first starting appearance and 14 against Georgetown.

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