Where have you gone, Grayson Allen? A nation is not turning its hateful eyes to you. Consider me surprised, and I suspect you feel the same. If you'd told me back in October that Duke would win 18 of its first 20 games, as it has, and would be subject of continual national debate over its performance and flaws, as it has, then I would have expected the controversial senior to be just that: controversial. A thrumming plot point in this 2017-18 season. Something we all just lived with again, like how LeBron James can't go a month (or a week) without a negative story attached to him, self-induced or not. But that hasn't been the case with Allen. Not at all. Have you noticed something a bit amiss with this season in college basketball? We've become so obsessed with Oklahoma's Trae Young (and that's warranted) that -- somehow -- Grayson Allen has become JAG: Just Another Guy. I imagine no one is happier about this than Grayson Allen, except maybe Duke beat writers. It's been a pleasant turn of events. Things have changed dramatically in a year's time for the guy who once was the sport's most dramatic figure, if not the most hated player in all of American sports. Let's go back 366 days. On Jan. 23, 2017, Duke lost at home to a bad NC State team. The Blue Devils were 3-4 in the ACC, didn't have Mike Krzyzewski on the sidelines due to back surgery, and the Grayson Allen Experience was an every-game Zapruder film analysis. You remember all of this, surely. It was awful. But we haven't had any of that theater this season. Duke won Tuesday night, in case you missed it. It was a casual 84-70 victory at Wake Forest. Allen had 17 points, six assists, four rebounds, three steals and three turnovers. If you saw the game, you saw Allen make about five or six really good plays, the kind of plays he's always made but seldom gets positive attention for. Allen was diving on the floor to save a possession, beating his opponent to the ball. He was opportunistic in snaring long, loose rebounds. He could be seen ripping a baseball pass to freshman Gary Trent Jr., who had the angle on a breakaway. That particular play helped keep a double-digit cushion on Duke's lead. Allen wasn't getting booed when he touched the ball. The announcing crew didn't once bring up how things used to be with No. 3.
Grayson Allen isn't kicking or screaming now -- he's just the solid senior Duke needs
CBS Sports | Jan 24