One on one with Grayson Allen

He was the first player from the class of 2014 to commit to Duke, as well as the first of four to sign his letter of intent. After spending several months preparing to for his senior season and watching his class come together, Grayson Allen recapped it all with TDD.

How did it feel  to sign your name on the dotted line and officially become a Duke Blue Devil?

Grayson Allen: It felt great, and was an exciting day. It is something I've been dreaming about since I was a little kid, and it was definitely surreal. It feels like everything went by so fast and to finally make everything official, it was a load off my chest. Now I don't have any pressure for my last high school year and I can look forward to what I'm going to be a part of next year.

Would you characterize the day as emotional? Stressful? Perhaps, some mix of those?

When I woke up it felt like a routine day, it didn't really hit me until I went and sat down and I actually saw I was going to be signing the papers and I saw all the media there and the students and everybody that had supported me, it was exciting and that's when it kinda hit me there, that's when it got a little emotional and I could feel that excitement.

How did your family do with the emotions of the day?

They were really happy for me and so proud, it was definitely a good feeling for them that I had accomplished everything that I had set out to accomplish with this and they feel 100% comfortable with Duke as well, so I think it was definitely exciting for them as well.

Signing Day is a culmination of the whole recruiting process, from your perspective Grayson, start to finish, how do you feel the recruiting process went for you now that it's over and you are officially part of the Duke family?

I definitely think my process was probably different from a lot of others' just by the fact that it all kinda happened around the same time for me with going from having around three offers to having over 40 just after one summer. For me, it was a great thing having everyone staying in contact with you and for me, when Duke offered, that's the place I really wanted to go growing up, I felt like it was good to commit early because I committed like six or seven days after they offered, so it was a quick decision that I felt 100% comfortable with, so that's how it worked for me.

Since the Duke offer resulted in a quick decision on your part, was it already pre-determined in your mind before the offer that if Duke offered, you were likely to commit to them?

Even before they offered, they had kinda been recruiting me for awhile, they had come to my games during the high school season and I had stayed in close contact with them, and then the home visit I had a good feeling that they were going to offer me and I had been thinking about it and when I got to meet with Coach K and his assistants just kinda sealed the deal for me. That next day, I knew Duke was my favorite and that's where I wanted to go, so I just prayed about it and made it a decision.

  When Coach K visited you for the in-home, what were the things that stood out to you as you interacted with him in that setting?

I think a lot of people think of him as this big celebrity, but he's really down to earth and is this very personable guy, he doesn't big time anyone which kinda surprised me about someone like that. He has that coach relationship with me and you build that relationship with him and you see how he is, he's funny, very personable and he's always checking up on me, making sure I'm ok and we've built a really good relationship.

What kind of stuff did you do on the official visit to Duke?

I spent a lot of time with all the coaches there and I got to talk with them and with my family as well, they got to spend time with the coaches as well, so that was nice that they took time out of their day to spend time with us. I got to spend some time with the players as well, got to hang out with them. It was nice to see where I'm going to be next year and what kind of people I'm going to be around with.

 What did the discussions center around with the coaching staff?

They had practice that I was able to watch and they had a game on Saturday, so we got to talk a lot about the basketball side of things, we talked about practice. We talked about realizing the difference between a high school practice and a college practice. During the game Saturday we talked about that and we talked about how they have a different playing style this year than maybe they've had in the past and we talked about where they see me fitting in with the program both next year and in the years to come.

Duke got some big news towards the end of the recruiting class, what were your thoughts on those developments?

It's really great. Tyus is obviously a great player and point guard, I got to know him well this summer because we were at various camps and events together. Next year it's going to be great to play with him for the first time because he's a great point guard, he's got great vision, great feel for how to play and Jahlil, he's just a dominant post player, with those two guys, you couldn't ask for a better combination of guys to play with. Justise Winslow is also a great player who can play a lot of different positions.

Moving forward, are there things the Duke staff wants you to work on?

I have been talking with them a little bit, as far as things to work on, and the big thing is if I want to come in and see court time early, definitely have to be able to hit open shots, and be able to defend on the perimeter multiple positions and I have to be in really good shape with my body. From watching them practice and the game live like that and seeing how different a level it is in college, I'm definitely picking up on those things they want me to work on and bringing them back to my high school team. There's definitely things that I learned especially on my official visit, so this year I'm going to be working on getting better as a player.

Are you getting to Duke early in the summer for summer school?

I'm going to have to check on that, I haven't discussed that yet but I'm pretty sure I'll be going in July for one of the summer sessions.

Have you built any friendships with any of the guys on the team?

A little bit yeah, I hung out with Matt Jones over the summer and talked with him a little bit. When I went on my visit I spent some time with Marshall Plumlee.

What was experiencing the Cameron Crazies like for you when you were on your official visit?

Even though it was just an exhibition game, they were still really loud and with it being a small place, it was great being in a place that's such a big time college place to play in.

Last question, Duke fans are excited about you coming next year, do you have any message that you want to send to your future fans?

Just know that I'm going to be ready, and I'm going to be coming with a purpose and ready to work hard and do whatever is needed for the team to win and whatever Coach calls on me to do, I'm going to be ready to do that. That's the main thing, that's how I am.

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