GRAYSON Allen is an interesting dude. Last year he starred for the Duke Blue Devils scoring over 20 points a game and leading them to a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in the tourney. Fast forward 10 months and Allen is still making headlines, but for all the wrong reasons.
DURING Allen’s stellar sophomore season he was the center of tripping allegations. He tripped both Louisville’s Ray Spalding and Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes in seperate incidents in February leading to him receiving a warning from the ACC. Last year on December 21st he was the subject of negative media again, after tripping Elon Phoenix’s Steven Santa Ana. Allen was stripped of his team captaincy and indefinitely suspended as a result.
WHILE he only received a one game suspension the damage to his reputation may be irreversible now. Multiple incidents over a number of years aren’t a coincidence and Allen is quickly garnering the label of a ‘dirty’ player league-wide. Allen seemed destined for the NBA, but now I’m not sure if GM’s would be willing to take a gamble on him. Whether its in the first round, second round or last pick of the draft it seemed like Allen was waiting for ‘when’ his name was called on draft night, not ‘if’.
IN Allen’s defense we have to remember he is a kid. He just recently turned 21 and as a member of Duke faces more scrutiny and abuse than any other players in the nation. But he isn’t helping himself with these outbursts. Granted he did avoid confrontation in a recent game with Wake Forrest. After getting whistled for a foul late in the game he was tangled up with an opposition player and showed maturity by raising his arms and walking away from the scenario, with Wake Forrest players quickly surging towards him. Pretending that he doesn’t have an issue is a problem that Duke should have resolved by handing him a longer suspension, but maybe Allen can turn the corner and shrug off moments like last Saturday in Wake Forrest. Time will tell.
Banner from si.com