Duke basketball

Will Grayson Allen's trip to the NBA wind up in Boston?

Will Grayson Allen's trip to the NBA wind up in Boston?

WALTHAM -- No matter where he goes, Grayson Allen knows the questions are going to come about some of his not-so-great moments at Duke. 
He finished his career as one of the school’s all-time leading scorers, but much of his success was overshadowed by a series of tripping incidents that will forever be part of his basketball narrative until he proves it is indeed a thing of the past. 
Allen is making his best efforts to get that process going now as he works out for prospective NBA teams. Such as the Celtics, who hosted Allen and five other draft hopefuls on Friday 
Just like the opinions of Allen are wide and varied, so is his draft status. Most mock drafts having him go anywhere from the late teens in the first round to the early portion of the second. 
Indeed, Allen will likely be selected later in the first round of this month’s draft, then he would have been if he came out a year or two earlier. 
But having spent four years at Duke, Allen believes that experience will prove vital to him having a long NBA career -- something that probably would not have happened if he came into the league earlier. 
“I got to learn from [Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski] for four years,” Allen said after his workout Friday. “I got to think through the game in so many different roles. My basketball IQ improved so much just by playing for him. I learned how to prepare like a pro, how to recover like a pro, how to live like a pro while at Duke. And I’m in a better spot to land and stick in the league. If I would have come out after my freshman or sophomore year, I would have been in a good spot but I would have had to get lucky in a good situation.”
And while having the 27th overall pick is a bit later in the first round than what the Celtics have grown accustomed to the past couple of years, there’s still a sense that they can find a solid contributor if they stand pat.
“We have to find players that can play and help us,” said Austin Ainge, Boston’s director of player personnel, who added that they are looking at a pool of about 10 players to choose from. “Having guys on rookie contracts, and lower contracts that can contribute, are invaluable. We have some high money guys on our team now. We’ve got free agents coming up this year, next year and year after and you never know how that’s going to go. So, we have to continually have new talent in the pipeline.”
Allen, who finished his career at Duke as the school’s 12th all-time leading scorer with 1,996 points, is well-versed on the questions that are sure to come about regarding the tripping incidents he was involved with at Duke. 
And while he knows he has to do a better job of maintaining a better level of control while remaining intense, he says he’s not planning to change the way he plays. 

“Every single team so far has looked at it as competitiveness,” Allen said. “Nobody has like scolded me for it or anything like that. I obviously have to talk about it and talk through it, and say that where it comes from and what I’m doing to improve my emotions on the court and stuff like that. At the end of the day, I’m not getting rid of that because teams want a competitive and emotional guy out there. You just have to control it. But they want a guy who brings fire.”
Allen added, “Right now, I think I’m in a place . . . I can handle a good situation, a bad situation, grinding through the G-League, anything. I can handle all that and have a long-term career.” 


NCAA: Duke ends URI's run emphatically, 87-62

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NCAA: Duke ends URI's run emphatically, 87-62

PITTSBURGH - Mike Krzyzewski might want to stop worrying about his team's inexperience. The loaded if young Blue Devils hardly seemed intimidated by NCAA Tournament's bright lights.

If anything, they're thriving under them.

Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year Marvin Bagley scored 22 points to go with nine rebounds, fellow freshman big man Wendell Carter Jr. added 13 points and second-seeded Duke rolled by seventh-seeded Rhode Island 87-62 in the second round on Saturday to earn the program's 26th trip to the Sweet 16. Freshmen guards Gary Trent Jr. and Trevon Duval combined for 29 points and 11 assists for the Blue Devils.

Duke (28-7) will play either Michigan State or Syracuse in the Midwest Regional semifinals in Omaha, Nebraska on Friday. The victory gave Krzyzewski 1,098 wins during his Hall of Fame career, breaking a tie with Tennessee women's coach Pat Summitt for the most ever by an NCAA basketball coach.

The Rams (26-8) and their senior-laden roster never threatened after the opening 10 minutes. E.C. Matthews led Rhode Island with 23 points but the Rams were never really in it after the Blue Devils revved it up midway through the first half.

Krzyzewski's relationship with Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley dates back to when Krzyzewski recruited Dan's older brother Bobby to Duke 30 years ago. Krzyzewski praised the Hurley family for their love of the "dignity of work," an ethos that has helped Dan turn the Rams into a force in the Atlantic 10.

Work ethic is one thing. Talent is another. The Rams have plenty of the former. When the young but rapidly maturing Blue Devils are as fully engaged as they were on Saturday, they have a staggering amount of both.

The proof came in a clinically efficient opening half in which Duke picked the Rams a part. If Allen and Trent weren't knocking down 3-pointers then they were getting the ball inside to Bagley or Carter, the program's "other" potential lottery pick who is dealing with an achy Achilles. Though he winced at least once while trying to set up on the block, when Carter had the ball in his hands, the grimace disappeared. He scored nine of Duke's first 11 points to establish the Blue Devils' dominance in the paint and when the backcourt got going, the Rams simply couldn't keep pace.

A 23-5 surge midway through the first half put the Blue Devils firmly in command. Their extended zone defense with Allen at the top disrupted Rhode Island's rhythm, at one point forcing Matthews it put up an off-balance, one-handed airball from the 3-point line as the shot clock expired.

By the time Duval's second 3-pointer of the half went down, the Blue Devils were up 45-28 at the break.

As the Rams came out for the second half, junior guard Will Leviton went over to a section of Rhode Island fans and urged them to "get up, I still need you! It's still a game."

Not really. A pair of Bagley dunks shortly after intermission pushed Duke's advantage to more than 20 and the Blue Devils were on their way to Omaha.

Rhode Island: The Rams lose five seniors to graduation, including Matthews, Terrell and forward Andre Berry but have a solid nucleus returning. Whether Hurley is there to guide them is another matter. He acknowledged his name has been mentioned in connections with other jobs, including UConn. He said no last spring. It may be more difficult this time around.

Duke: For all of its offensive brilliance, the biggest difference for the Blue Devils over the last month has been their work at the other end of the floor. Duke held Rhode Island to 40 percent shooting (25 of 63).

The Blue Devils are 14-9 in Sweet 16 games under Krzyzewski.

© 2018 by The Associated Press. 

Boston College knocks off No. 1 Duke, 89-84


Boston College knocks off No. 1 Duke, 89-84

BOSTON - Ky Bowman finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists to help Boston College beat top-ranked Duke 89-84 on Saturday and send the Blue Devils to their first loss of the season.

Jordan Chatman scored 22 for BC (7-3, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), hitting four straight free throws in the final 16 seconds. The Eagles have won three straight games against the No. 1 team in The Associated Press Top 25.

Gary Trent Jr. scored 25 for Duke (11-1, 0-1 ACC).

Duke erased a 10-point deficit in the second half and led 79-75 with 3:30 to play. But Boston College scored 12 of the next 14 points, getting a pair of 3-pointers from Robinson.

© 2017 by The Associated Press.