Leading up the season we are doing a countdown of the Top 100 players in college basketball. These rankings are based on a poll made up of 14 CPP writers. These writers span from UCLA to Seton Hall so there is very little bias. Each day we will release the latest player on our ranking with a small write-up. Be sure to check out the rest of the Top 100 articles!
2016-17 Stats (Duke): 14.5 PPG, 3.5 APG, 3.7 RPG, 36.5 3P%
Why They Are Here?
Is he really Christian Laettner 2.0? Hate him or love him, Grayson Allen is definitely one of the top college basketball players in the country. Can you believe that Grayson Allen, the lowest ranked recruit for Duke in 2014, the kid who made a name for himself in the tournament and helped Duke win the National Championship in 2015, and now the most hated player in college hoops, is a senior? Although Grayson Allen can sometimes be a headcase (maybe take out sometimes and put always), he is one of the most electrifying players to watch and is freaky athletic. He has played almost every position on the court for Coach K and is a very versatile player who thrives off the emotion of the game, sometimes letting his emotions get the most of him. Last year, Grayson Allen was suspended from a few games and stripped of his team captain title after tripping opponents and getting into altercations with them. He has been classified as a “dirty player” and has lost the respect of lots of college basketball fans, but that does not change the skills that he possesses. Allen is a very unselfish teammate and is very dangerous when creating opportunities for his teammates, much like last year with G Luke Kennard and F Jayson Tatum. Defensively, Grayson Allen is pest and is always all over his opponent. When guarded by Allen, good luck getting a wide open look or getting an easy lay-up because he will swat the ball into the second level. Villain or not, Grayson Allen will continue to be the headline in college hoops and continue to make Duke a contender in his final year in Durham.
Role on This Year’s Team:
After being stripped of his team captain title last season, Grayson Allen has earned the respect of his coaches back and has been named the sole captain of this year’s Duke basketball team. With the #1 recruiting class coming in, Grayson Allen will not only be a mentor on the court, but the main leader and facilitator. Duke will likely play with three guards on the court since freshmen Trevon Duval and Gary Trent Jr. will likely fill out the 1 and 2 on the court. In all honesty, Grayson Allen may be the only non-freshman on the court to start the season for Duke, that is how talented their freshmen are! As for his role on the court this year, that is a big unknown. We all know Grayson Allen will find his name in headlines for whatever reason, but nobody really knows what to expect from him number wise this year. Will he be a passer or a scorer? Will he be one of the best two-way players in the nation? Nobody really knows what to expect from Allen this season, but one thing to be certain of is that he will have the ball in his hands down the stretch. Grayson Allen has bailed Duke out of close games on multiple occasions in his three years there and will likely continue to do so. His basketball IQ is very high and if he can keep his emotions in check and feed off the energy from his teammates and crowd, Grayson Allen could have a historic season. He has all the tools necessary to be the national player of the year, but his reputation and attitude on the court could hurt him. One thing we know for sure is that Grayson Allen’s highlight reel could use some new footage so opponents beware!
College Season/NBA Prospect:
With an abundance of talent coming into Duke this year, they are going to be a very tough team to stop offensively. With Grayson Allen at the helm of this Duke onslaught, they could be a lethal team down the stretch of the season. Assuming Allen plays the whole season, I expect him to put up very similar numbers to last year, but improve upon his defensive efficiency and rebounding. Grayson Allen is a very physical player and plays with a lot of heart, which reminds me a lot of Draymond Green on the court. When these guys let the pace of the game and emotions get to them, they collapse and have meltdowns, but when they feed off the energy on the court, they can become unstoppable. If Grayson Allen truly has matured and has calmed down mentally, he could be the best basketball player in college hoops this season. On my 2018 NBA Draft Big Board, I currently have him ranked as the 9th best guard in the draft class and as the #23 overall ranked prospect. If Allen can prove to NBA franchises that he is not a kid anymore and has thrown away all the “kid like” antics on the court, he could be a player that teams picking 20-30 in this year’s draft take a look at. He is a very athletic wing that is very solid defensively, and makes those around him better. Grayson Allen can be villainous on the court at times and can be understandably hated, but he is, without doubt, one of the top basketball players in college hoops and should be entertaining to watch this season!
Be sure to check out tomorrow’s Top 100 player.
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NBA Draft Analyst/Louisville Basketball