He single-handedly brought Duke back from the brink in the national championship last season, he’s purposefully tripped two players this season and he’s perhaps the best player on perhaps the top team in the ACC.
He’s Grayson Allen.
“I think (he’s) a guy who’s going to be real interesting (to watch) in the (NCAA Tournament),” Fox Sports 1 college basketball analyst Reid Forgrave said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “This is a guy who has kind of followed – and a lot has been written about this over the last month ever since he’s had these tripping incidents – he’s followed in this tradition of Duke white players who are kind of scrappy, pretty feisty and completely unlikable. Which is interesting because he’e a pretty low-key guy when you talk with him. I talked with him in the locker room after they won the title and he was the savior for that team a year ago. He’s just a mellow, laid-back, fun-loving dude.”
But not on the basketball court. Allen, a sophomore, leads Duke with 21.5 points and 3.5 assists per game. He shoots 42.3 percent from three. He shoots 83.0 percent from the foul line. He’s made game-winning shots. He’s Duke’s emotional leader.
And he one of the most hated players in college basketball.
“Look, we tend to put these storylines onto people fairly or unfairly,” Forgrave said, “and he was going to get this whether he deserved it or not because he’s a white player at Duke. Plus, the fact that Duke has zero depth this year – that starting five is really talented. I know they barely beat N.C. State today.”
Duke beat N.C. State, 92-89, on Wednesday. Allen finished with 19 points, six assists, two rebounds and two steals. He’s made 10 threes in his last two games.
The Blue Devils face Notre Dame in the ACC quarterfinals Thursday.
“I don’t think they’re going to win (a national title) this year, but they’re among the teams that could,” Forgrave said. “And if they do, it’ll be because Grayson Allen is the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament and goes for 30 points three different times.”