Duke men's basketball player of the week: Week 13

<p>Grayson Allen finished Saturday's game with 21 points, including five 3-pointers, despite a slow start that saw him tally just three points in the first 30 minutes.</p>

Grayson Allen finished Saturday's game with 21 points, including five 3-pointers, despite a slow start that saw him tally just three points in the first 30 minutes.

Grayson Allen

The statline:

Saturday vs. Pittsburgh: 21 points on 6-of-13 shooting with five 3-pointers, six assists, six rebounds and two turnovers in 40 minutes.

The good: After a steady showing Monday night in South Bend, Ind., Allen returned to Durham with a nearly identical performance against the Panthers. The junior guard led the Blue Devils with 21 points after posting just three in the first 30 minutes of the game, and it was Allen's shot-making—along with that of Frank Jackson—that allowed Duke to pull away from the Panthers late in the game. Four of Allen's five triples came in the second half, including two in the final three minutes.

The Jacksonville, Fla., native has now posted double-figure points in five of Duke's last six contests, emerging from a slump that coincided with the night of his tripping incident against Elon—from Dec. 21 to Jan. 10, Allen totaled just 39 points in four games. Despite repeated criticism due to so-called "tripping incidents" that have been caught on camera since returning from his one-game suspension, Allen has demonstrated consistency as the Blue Devils' primary ball-handler and shown flashes of the player that was the National Player of the Year favorite in the preseason.

The bad: The entire Duke lineup struggled in the first half of Saturday's game, and Allen was no exception. He ended the first 20 minutes with just three points and a turnover, shooting 1-of-4 from the field with all of his shots coming on 3-point attempts. Although the junior contributed four assists before intermission, he could not help his team generate much offense against a long Pittsburgh zone defense.

The bottom line: After sitting out the Blue Devils' ACC opener, Allen has arguably been Duke's steadiest offensive contributor. Although Luke Kennard and Jayson Tatum are both averaging more points in league play, Allen's 15.6 points per game against ACC foes are far better than the next closest Blue Devil, and the junior is averaging nearly five assists a contest to boot. Without the 6-foot-5 guard's late-game heroics, the Panthers might have been able to sneak out of Cameron Indoor Stadium with a victory, but Allen made sure to slam the door shut.

Honorable mention: Amile Jefferson had not looked like himself in his first four games since coming back from a right-foot bone bruise suffered in early January against Boston College. The Philadelphia native totaled only 20 points combined before Saturday's matchup with the Panthers, when the graduate student forward scored 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Jefferson added nine rebounds, three assists and five blocks in the Duke victory despite an injury that as he described "needs rest" in order to heal completely.

Mitchell Gladstone | Sports Managing Editor

Twitter: @mpgladstone13

A junior from just outside Philadelphia, Mitchell is probably reminding you how the Eagles won the Super Bowl this year and that the Phillies are definitely on the rebound. Outside of The Chronicle, he majors in Economics, minors in Statistics and is working toward the PJMS certificate, in addition to playing trombone in the Duke University Marching Band. And if you're getting him a sandwich with beef and cheese outside the state of Pennsylvania, you best not call it a "Philly cheesesteak." 


Share and discuss “Duke men's basketball player of the week: Week 13” on social media.