CHICAGO – This is supposed to be about Marvin Bagley, or Kilometers Bridges and maybe even Jaren Jackson Jr. The Champions Common, once considered The Convention due to all the NBA GMs it draws, annually serves as a national launch for the latest one-and-done skill that populates Duke, Kentucky, Kansas and Michigan Status.
It is not supposed to be about a senior. But somehow, Grayson Allen generally finds ways to make the story about himself.
When Michigan State looked like it would head into halftime only down a point, it had been Allen who canned a 30-foot three at the buzzer. When the Spartans tied it with 12 moments left, it had been Allen once again with another back-breaking three. When Jackson struck a triple with under two minutes remaining so that they can spark one last Sparty run, it had been Allen who answered with a three of his own on the other end.
University basketball is always trying to develop other stars, but Allen may be the one it can’t eliminate. He proved once again on the largest stage of the regular season that he’s the sport’s business lead actor. This time around, he was the hero. Many times before, he’s been the villain.
Whatever Grayson Allen is doing, he’s always omnipresent.
Players as infamous while Allen are not supposed to loaf around this sport because of this long. He came to Duke as the other McDonald’s All-American in the Blue Devils’ 2014 class that also included one-and-dones Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones. He hardly acquired off the bench that freshman time before a breakthrough in the ultimate Four and a far more incredible performance in Duke’s national title game victory.
As a sophomore, Allen was supposed to be a supporting actor next to another one-and-done in Brandon Ingram, but he became one of the better players in the united states instead. His junior time was marred by tripping incidents, mental break downs and a crew suspension. Jayson Tatum and Luke Kennard became Duke’s biggest superstars and their supposed superteam was knocked out in the first weekend by seventh-seeded SC.
Related NBA mock draft 2018: Luka Doncic is definitely No. 1, but 4 university freshmen are arriving for him
Duke has a new mixture of touted freshmen this year, four of these joining Allen found in the starting lineup. Bagley may be the subsequent potential No. 1 total NBA draft pick and choose. Trevon Duval may be the flashy freshman stage guard. Wendell Carter and Gary Trent Jr. are talented more than enough to demand the spotlight anywhere else.
This Duke team, this university basketball season, doesn’t need to be defined by Grayson Allen once again. Yet here we are: 37 points on 11-of-20 shooting from the discipline against the No. 2 crew in the country, a new career-night in a job that’s been filled up with so many memorable ones.
We can’t get away from Grayson Allen. Only ask Michigan State.
“I felt like I was coaching (J.J.) Redick,” Mike Krzyzewski said after the game.
Allen was only slightly more modest.
“I was kinda hot,” he stated of his second half, where he drained five of his seven three-pointers.
Michigan Status hung tough forever. Bridges, who we called the best player in university basketball last week, was phenomenal at times, hitting half of his 10 attempted three-pointers to finish with 19 points. Jackson Jr. impressed every NBA scout in attendance with his combination of three-stage shooting and shot blocking.
Duke had every reason to fold when Bagley exited 10 minutes in to the game after buying poked in the eye. He’s their many talented participant, as Krzyzewski admitted after the video game. If he may become their best participant at some point this year, it’s hard to assume anyone stopping Duke. Certainly not with this variant of Grayson Allen.
Allen was easy to indicate the contributions of his stage guard Duval. He should know. A year ago, Duke was left with out a true point guard and pigeonholed Allen into that part. It was never an all natural suit and he struggled to find his place among Tatum, Kennard and the others of Duke’s stacked roster.
It’s no problem anymore. Duval has 30 assists to four turnovers to begin his job, and Allen is definitely back to performing what he does ideal: attacking the defense with slashing drives and very long range bombs from behind the arc. This is his final action in the college video game and it feels like he’s back to where he belongs.
“He’s been through the worst of times, he’s been through the best of times,” Trent said poetically after the game. “He’s an ideal leader for all of us.”
Allen has had a career full moments, both bad and the good. If the Champions Common was any indication, his senior time won’t be any unique.