Thursday, December 22, 2016

Dunce Cap Award: Grayson Allen

Duke University has a rep for feasting on non-league opponents prior to the start of Atlantic Coast Conference play. Sure, everyone does it, and the tomato cans are handsomely rewarded.

However, the Blue Devils have a problem child on their hands who could be a liability to the team in the long term.

On Wednesday night, in front of a national television audience watching on ESPN 2, Duke's Grayson Allen tripped an Elon player---on purpose, according to game officials---as he was falling out of bounds. He was assessed a technical foul, and sat the remainder of the first half, then returned four minutes into the second half.

This morning, Allen was suspended indefinitely from the team, as this is his third tripping of an opposing player in this calendar year. The first two came in February. And while Allen has already gotten necessary punishment from the school, additional sanctions from the ACC are not only also likely, but necessary as well. In this writer's opinion, unless Allen gets some counseling to properly channel his emotions and intensity on the court, he's likely played his last game at Duke.

Yes, Duke ultimately won the game, but the last thing they need is for one player's inability to maintain emotional focus on-court to paint the Blue Devils with a wide brush as a dirty team. I can see it if they argue that Allen was physically out of control as he went out of bounds and couldn't help himself, but the argument here is that because he had gone out of his way to trip players on two opposing teams last season, he has gained a bad reputation in such a short period of time.

For now, Allen gets the Dunce Cap for his fool's folly, as his actions could still have long term consequences for Duke.

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