Grayson Allen is a dynamic guard that can penetrate and finish in the lane with his strength and ...

Duke men's basketball 2016-17 player preview: Grayson Allen

Grayson Allen

  • Year: Junior
  • Height: 6-foot-5
  • Position: Guard
  • Last year’s statline: 21.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.5 APG

Game Breakdown: After averaging just more than four points per game during his freshman season, Allen burst onto the scene in the 2015 national championship when he scored 16 points in the win against Wisconsin. Since then, Allen has made himself known as a relentless scorer, slashing to the hoop with reckless abandon en route to 21.6 points per game last season. Allen was also a perimeter threat during his sophomore season, knocking down 41.7 percent of his three-point attempts.

Allen has the characteristic grit of a Duke superstar, diving for loose balls and getting into opposing players’ heads game after game. With more offensive options this year, the high-flying two-guard may see his stats dip, but is still in the running for National Player of the Year.

Role on the team: Last year, Allen was asked to do almost everything on the offensive side of the court, a role he embraced on a team depleted by injuries that was only seven or eight players deep. This year, however, with the return of Amile Jefferson from injury and freshman standouts Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden in the mix, Allen will see his role shift to be more of a distributor and a playmaker to complement his scoring. Allen will also be asked to become more of a leader this season after being named one of the team captains by head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

NBA comparison: Allen fits the NBA mold of a shooting guard, standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 202 pounds. As a gritty, explosive player and a capable shooter, Allen can be an effective NBA starter, or at worst a dependable weapon off the bench. At best, Allen can develop to be a version of DeMar Derozan, a slashing guard who can shoot from the outside and also handle the ball. Derozan is a more talented defender than Allen, though, but Allen could become more aggressive on defense this year if he is not asked to do as much on the offensive end.

Projected statline: 18.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.1 APG, 1.5 SPG

Stay tuned to the Blue Zone for our continuing player previews with senior Matt Jones tomorrow. Previous players previewed include Jack White, Javin DeLaurier, Frank Jackson, Marques Bolden, Jayson Tatum, Harry Giles, Justin Robinson, Antonio Vrankovic, Chase Jeter, Luke Kennard and Sean Obi.

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