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Grayson Allen was the lone senior on a team with four freshmen starters.

Duke men's basketball 2017-18 player review: Grayson Allen



Grayson Allen

Season breakdown: Allen's career featured the highest highs and lowest lows any college basketball player could experience, with a starring role in a national championship his freshman year before a series of tripping incidents and a steep drop in production as a junior. It culminated with what could have been his greatest moment yet, a potential game-winner at the end of regulation in Sunday's Elite Eight that rolled around the rim twice before spinning out.

As the lone senior and solo captain on a team with four freshmen starters around him, Allen started off the year strong with a career-high 37-point showing against Michigan State in the Champions Classic and shot 17-of-26 from long distance in the first three games of the season. But the 6-foot-5 guard quickly cooled off, finishing at 37.0 percent from beyond the arc on the season.

Allen shared ball-handling duties with freshman point guard Trevon Duval and shined again during a four-game stretch of ACC play when Marvin Bagley III was sidelined with a knee injury. He averaged 23.8 points during that span, but only scored at least 20 in three other conference games.

Allen shot poorly in the final weekend of his career in two games in Omaha, Neb., and finished just shy of 2,000 career points, ending up at 1,996 to settle in at 12th on the Blue Devils' all-time scoring list.

Results relative to expectations: Allen was credited by both his teammates and coaches as an effective leader who helped bring one of Duke's youngest teams ever together, and his guidance nearly carried the Blue Devils all the way to the Final Four. But his performance on the court did not reach the lofty expectations his preseason first-team All-ACC selection. 

Although Allen had his moments of glory, they came few and far between, and he was never the best player on the team or the focal point of its offense as many expected—that title belonged to Bagley. He still earned third-team All-ACC recognition and played well enough to be picked at some point in June's NBA Draft, but never reached the consistent level of play he achieved during his sophomore year at the peak of his production.

Check back later for the rest of the Blue Zone's player reviews. 


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