Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 7.44.21 PM
Allen has struggled from beyond the arc since a career game against then-No. 2 Michigan State.

X Factor: Can Grayson Allen get back on track against Indiana?



After three-consecutive come from behind victories in the second half last week at the PK80 championship, No. 1 Duke looks to continue its undefeated season against Indiana in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Despite a slow start, the Hoosiers have rebounded and enter Wednesday’s contest on a three-game win streak. 

The Blue Zone gives the players that could be X Factors in Bloomington, Ind.: 

Duke: Grayson Allen

Allen has considerably cooled off following a hot start that saw him post a career-high 37 points against then-No. 2 Michigan State, leading the Blue Devils to an impressive 88-81 victory. The senior captain averaged north of 25 points per game through the team’s first three contests and has posted just 11.0 points per game over the last five.

Much of that decline has to do with Allen’s shooting from beyond the arc. The Jacksonville, Fla. native posted astonishing totals through the first three contests, shooting 17-for-26 against Elon, Utah Valley, and Michigan State. Since the Michigan State game, as Duke has started to spread the ball more, especially looking to the paint for standout freshman Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr., Allen’s shooting line has dipped to 16-for-48. Overall, Allen is still posting career numbers – his 43.9 percent accuracy from beyond the arc would be a career high, well above last season’s 36.5 percent mark. 

This may have to do with the fact that he hasn't been 100 percent healthy—head coach Mike Krzyzewski said after a Nov. 20 win against Furman that Allen had sat out of practice because he was "banged up."

Against a Hoosier team that struggles to defend the 3-point line—Indiana’s opponents have connected on 60 threes in just six games and are shooting 44.8 percent from beyond the arc—Krzyzewski may look to engage Allen, Gary Trent Jr. and promising freshman Alex O’Connell more to get the Hoosier defense moving early. 

Indiana: De’Ron Davis

At 6-foot-10 and 249 pounds, Davis will likely have the increasingly difficult task of posting up against Bagley. A sophomore, Davis has been thrust in a leading role for the Hoosiers this year after serving primarily as a backup last season, though the Park Hill, Colo. native saw action in all 34 of the team’s games. 

He isn't necessarily the team’s most potent offensive player,  but has demonstrated an efficiency down low that will make him difficult to defend. Davis has shot 73.7 percent from the field through the teams' first six games while having yet to take more than 10 shots in any of the team’s contests. After facing a streaky Florida team on Sunday night that liked to spread the floor, the Blue Devils will have to recognize the talent the Hoosiers have inside with Davis and junior forward Juwan Morgan, the team’s second leading scorer at 11.8 points per game. 

Davis has frequently gotten himself into foul trouble—he fouled out once and reached four fouls three times—so it will be important that Indiana provide help on defense down low, especially against a Duke team that has drawn a tremendous number of fouls against opposing big men.  


Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Chronicle.