Grayson Allen will be returning to Duke for his senior season and, quite frankly, that was the only option open to him. Even if the Jacksonville native wanted to enter the 2017 NBA Draft, his stock took such a major hit during his junior season that he may have gone undrafted. Draft Express current has him as the 45th ranked prospect overall and that’s being generous. Chad Ford has him at 61.
Allen entered the 2016-17 season as a potential National Player of the Year candidate. He was coming off a sophomore season where he averaged 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 36.6 minutes per game while shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from 3-point range. As a junior his numbers tanked. He averaged 14.5 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 29.6 minutes per game, while shooting 39.5 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point range. Oh yeah, and there was that whole suspension for tripping another opponent and his team’s embarrassing exit from the NCAA Tournament.
Allen repeatedly showed himself to be an immature kid who is nowhere near ready for the NBA. On top of that, he just had a bad season. Someone with his athleticism and skill-set should not be declining as a junior, he should have been improving.
At one point in the middle of the ACC season, he scored eight points or fewer in six of the eight games he played. During that stretch from February 11 through March 8, he averaged 6.0 points in 21.6 minutes per game. That’s terrible for a guy who was supposed to be a team leader and the centerpiece of a championship contender.
Basically, Allen’s junior season was a failure of epic proportions and he had no choice but to return to school in an attempt to salvage his draft stock.