You Remind Me Of...: Grayson Allen

It's always helpful for fans to have a point of reference when learning about new players that will be in Durham on a year-to-year basis. Often, it's useful to compare a new recruit to a former Blue Devil. We've done just that with the help of the national recruiting team and Duke historian/author Jim Sumner.

When looking for the best formula for comparison, we decided on a three-step process:

First, we asked the national recruiting team of Evan Daniels, Brian Snow, and Josh Gershon to provide a scouting report of each of the incoming freshmen as well as some of the top Duke targets in the class of 2014.

Next, we compiled the data and then removed the names associated with each player card.

Finally, those blank player cards were presented to Mr. Sumner. We asked Jim to name the first former Blue Devil that came to mind based on the scouting report.

Here's the result…

Grayson Allen
Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 175 pounds Scouting Report:

  • Very good athlete
  • Reliable perimeter shooter
  • Can score off the bounce and through contact
  • Excels at coming off screens or via pick and roll
  • Needs to improve ball-handling to be able to play both guard spots
  • Needs to get stronger for next level

Quick Description: Allen has built his reputation because of his athleticism and ability to knock down perimeter shots. Strength and mid-range are areas for improvement. - Brian Snow

A versatile guard who makes shots at a high level and is a good athlete. not someone who is just a shooter, surprises people going to the rim where he can score or pass. Also a solid defender. - Evan Daniels

Sumner Says…: PHIL HENDERSON (1987-1990)

Henderson's Duke career started by appearing in just eight games a freshman before playing in all 34 as a sophomore. He concluded the latter half of his time in Durham by starting each of the last 73 games as Duke posted a .770 win percentage over that time period.

As a junior, Henderson averaged 12.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per night playing the off guard position, but handling the ball enough to rack up nearly three assists per contest as well. Those numbers improved as a senior when Henderson went for 18.5 points per contest while shooting 41 percent from long range, and 47 percent overall.

Tragically, Henderson suddenly passed away earlier this season while working with youth at his basketball academy in the Phillipines. Mike Krzyzewski remembered not only a great person, but a great basketball player who helped Coach K establish a long-lasting, and very successful program:

"There's no question he was an integral part of our success during that time period," said Coach K. "He was a really talented player and could really score the ball deceptively. You didn't think of him being the athlete that he was because he kind of had a frail body and was thin. But he could shoot, really a streak shooter where he could put up points real quick."

And, of course, Henderson will always be remembered for this dunk over Georgetown's Alonzo Mourning.

Similarly, Allen has the potential to develop into a very productive guard that could put up bunches of points, and in very rapid succession. At 6-foot-4, Allen is already a bit bigger than Henderson was, and he's every bit the leaper.

Additionally, Allen has shown the ability to score with his midrange game, and from the perimeter. And, if his career path to date is any indication, the Florida prospect will continue to improve as he matures.

The athletic 6-foot-3 Allen really burst onto the scene in early July at an event in Myrtle Beach, and then at the Peach State Summer Showcase he more than solidified himself as one of the top players in the class of 2014.

At the time Allen was playing on the little known Douglas Bros. AAU team. Now Allen is playing in the EYBL with the high powered Southern Stampede, and with good reason. Quite simply there isn't much that Allen doesn't do well on the floor.

While some analysts point to his ability as a shooter, and there is no doubt he can make shots, Allen is much more than that. He has complete game.

Allen is probably at his best going to the rim and making plays. He does it via the pass and for himself by scoring around the rim or hitting from the mid-range. While Allen isn't a point guard, he does make good decisions with the basketball and is very adept at finding open teammates once he gets into the lane. Also his high level athleticism allows him to finish over taller players and also he is already strong enough to finish through contact.

About Jim Sumner: Jim Sumner specializes in southern sports. He is a columnist for Go Duke: The Magazine, Inside Carolina magazine, Duke Basketball Report and College Sumner is a regular contributor to The Associated Press, the Durham Herald-Sun, the Wolfpacker, Basketball Times, ACC Sports Journal,,, Tar Heel Tipoff and Blue Devil Tipoff. He has written for The ACC Handbook, Baseball America, Duke Magazine, Basketball America, Our State, Metro Magazine, and numerous other magazines, journals, and websites.

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