Grayson Allen: ‘I’m trying to put in extra work on my ball-handling’
Duke posted their first video from a Summer Grind Series that they do every offseason. It’s Grayson Allen, Duke’s rising junior all-american.
It’s the kind of standard stuff that you see the in-house media operations at college programs produce all the time. A few slow-motion dunks, some video of Allen in the weight room, about a minute of updates on what he’s done for the summer.
Pretty standard stuff:
The only reason I’m posting this here is this quote from Allen: “Now that we’re in the gym all the time, I’m trying to put in extra work on my ball-handling.”
To be fair, that’s one of the most notable flaws in his game. We all saw it against Kentucky at last season’s Champions Classic. He was limited when athletic guards pressured him and forced him out of what he wanted to do.
But is there more to it? One thing that I’ve heard a couple times over the summer is that freshman Frank Jackson is taking a little longer to adjust to playing the point full-time than was initially hoped. One of the words of caution that I mentioned with this Duke team is that they lost their only true point guard when Derryck Thornton opted to transfer back in the spring. Jackson is a lead guard, but he’s still a scorer at heart, a guy who operates best with the ball in his hands while hunting a shot.
The same can be said for Allen, Luke Kennard and Jayson Tatum.
That’s a concern.
It also may be the only concern for the Blue Devils, which is why, even if Frank Jackson didn’t exist, it’s hard to imagine Duke not being the consensus No. 1 team in the preseason. When there is that much individual talent on the roster, you don’t need a Russell Westbrook or a Chris Paul to create shots for everyone. You just need a guy that can get the ball over half court and the team into an offense.
They should have the pieces to get that done.
This is just something to be mindful of as we get out of the college basketball doldrums of August.