Fallout: What Allen's Commitment Means

Grayson Allen is the first member of the class of 2014 to commit to Duke. TDD takes a look at what the commitment means for the rest of the class, and the roster formation.

What kind of player is Grayson Allen?

We asked the analysts at Scout.com to provide some insight and opinions on Allen. The general consensus is that Duke is getting a player who possesses versatility, high level athleticism, and a confident demeanor on the court.

"He's a versatile guard who makes shots at a very high level, who is a good athlete," said Brian Snow. "He's also not a guy who can be classified as a 'just a shooter'. Defenders who do that will be surprised as he goes by them and gets to the rim where he can score or make the pass. He's also a solid defender on the perimeter."

Snow's teammate, Evan Daniels, agreed with the scouting report and added that Allen has "built a reputation based on a combination of athleticism and the ability to knock down the perimeter shot.

So where does Allen need to improve in order to continue his career trajectory?

"Right now he needs to get stronger," said Daniels. "He could also work on his mid-range game, and his ball handling skills."

Improving the ball-handling will be part of this summer's "to-do" list as Allen runs with the Southern Stampede in Nike's EYBL circuit. The Stampede will put the ball in Allen's hands and will let him run the point guard position throughout the summer.

"I think playing the point is going to help me transition into college because if I can play at the 1 and 2 in college, it'll help me on the next level," said Allen. "Position wise I will be able to play either spot. There are some schools recruiting me as a combo guard, some think I can be a true point guard or a true scoring guard."

Duke sees Allen as a player who, like Rasheed Sulaimon this year, will handle the ball in the half court and will be called upon to slash and create for himself and his teammates.

Strengths:

  • Athleticism
  • Perimeter Shooting
  • Shooting on the move

Areas For Improvement
  • Ball Handling
  • Strength

How does he fit in with Duke's projected roster?

Allen will step into a somewhat crowded backcourt in the Fall of 2014 where he'll have a chance to factor into both the point guard and shooting guard positions from upperclassmen.

When Allen gets to Durham, the Blue Devils will have a senior point guard in Quinn Cook, and junior Rasheed Sulaimon, and then sophomore Matt Jones. Additionally, Duke is thought to be right in the thick of things for the nation's top rated point guard, Tyus Jones.

That's four five-star prospects battling it out for 80 combined minutes. If history is any indication, Coach K will play a three-year starter and likely all-ACC contender at point guard for more than 30 minutes a game. The same will likely be true of Sulaimon, who could be an ACC Player of the Year candidate as a junior if his career trajectory holds firm.

That leaves sophomore Matt Jones, Allen, and perhaps Jones (should Duke be successful). In short, it's a crowded backcourt. But, Allen says he's not worried about that kind of thing for a year.

"I think the biggest thing would be guys in the same class as me at the same position. Having guys there already might be good so I can learn from them."

It appears he'll certainly have that opportunity.

How does this impact the rest of the 2014 recruiting class?

It's not completely clear at this time.

Currently the 2014 roster stands as follows:

Seniors (1): Quinn Cook

Juniors (5): Rasheed Sulaimon, Rodney Hood, Alex Murphy, Amile Jefferson, and Marshall Plumlee

Sophomore (3): Matt Jones, Semi Ojeleye, Jabari Parker

Freshman (1): Grayson Allen

That's 10 players on scholarship for the 2014-2015 season, meaning there are three potential spots to fill. Duke currently has offers out to seven players.

The top two targets on the board are, and remain Jones and the nation's top big man, Jahlil Okafor. Neither is likely impacted by the commitment of Allen. If Jones commits to Duke, he'll have the ball in his hands early on, pushing Allen to the wing almost exclusively.

Perhaps the biggest conflict of the known targets in 2014 is Mississippi scoring guard Devin Booker, who picked up a Duke offer in February. We spoke to Booker shortly after he visited Durham and earned the scholarship offer, and he touched on the depth chart consideration at the various programs involved with him:

"It'll play a role but it's not a major deal. I want to work for it, obviously I don't want to go to a place where my spot is majorly filled in."

Of course, as Booker told TDD, the depth chart at Duke could look very different two years from now:

"They feel Rodney Hood will be gone and Jabari Parker too. They aren't sure about Rasheed Sulaimon yet, whether he'll be gone too, but like I said before, I don't want anything handed to me. That doesn't play a role with me, I'm not thinking about being a one and done player, however long it takes me to get to the next level is what I'm thinking."


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