When many people think of Grayson Allen, they think of him for the wrong reasons. They think about him losing his temper and tripping opponents. He has been labeled as a “dirty player” throughout his time at Duke, so just what is the legacy of Grayson Allen?
Coming out of Providence High School in the class of 2014, Allen was a consensus top 50 player in the class and was labeled a 5 star according to ESPN. After a freshman year spent mostly on the bench, Allen burst onto the scene in the national title game, providing a spark off the bench that led the Blue Devils to victory. Since then, he has been one of the most well known college players. More than for his play, Allen became known for his hot headed actions and questionable sportsmanship in his first season as a starter under Coach K.
Allen’s play has long been overlooked when people speak of his “legacy” as a collegiate athlete, so let’s take a look. In his four years of college, Allen has been a part of many successful Duke teams and currently has 129 career victories. For reference, the national record for most victories in a playing career is held by Przemek Karnowski of Gonzaga with 134 victories. If the Blue Devils can win the national championship this season, Allen will finish his career with 132 victories, just one shy of the previous record holder, fellow Blue Devil Shane Battier.
Allen averaged just nine minutes per game in his freshman year, sitting behind Quinn Cook and Tyus Jones. He averaged just 4 points per game during that campaign, far off from his career average of 14.1. Despite that year, Allen is just 93 points away from cracking Duke’s top 10 career scoring list and just 96 from sole possession of 8th place. Allen has averaged 610 total points per season in his 3 seasons as a starter. If he had put that up in his freshman season at Duke, he would be in sole possession of 4th place all time, just one spot behind Christian Laettner. Allen has long drawn comparisons to Laettner as he is the latest “hated white guy for Duke.” While Allen and Duke await their game with Kansas in the Elite 8 today, this is the third sweet 16 appearance for Allen, second elite 8, and he still has a shot at a second national title.
In his senior year at Duke, Grayson Allen has played the role of steady leader, a safety valve for a star studded Duke team that includes lottery lock Marvin Bagley III. Allen is not the villain many people consider him to be; he is more than that. Even if Duke isn’t able to pull off a national title win, we should start treating Grayson Allen for what he is: one of the greatest guards in Duke history.