Surely there is a facility in some shadowy corner of the Research Triangle where they produce these monsters, and Grayson Allen is just the latest in a long line of Blue Devils seemingly designed to make you angry. The Duke guard is very, very good, of course, leading the team in scoring with so many of his points coming on driving layups that make you wonder why no one can seem to stop him. He’s also leading the team in assists, which is a big answer to the previous sentence’s rhetorical question. And he plays physical—borderline dirty.
Last night’s highlight, in Duke’s 80-65 win over Florida State in which Allen led the team with 18 points, was another trip. Allen was jostling for position with Xavier Rathan-Mayes, and when Rathan-Mayes tried to bolt behind him, Allen stuck out his left leg, sending the Seminoles guard sprawling to the floor.
No foul was called, even with a ref standing right there.
“He wanted to keep playing physical, so I tried to walk away from it as he was grabbing me,” Allen said. “We ended up tangling up and falling. It was really nothing.”
This comes just a couple of weeks after Allen earned a flagrant foul for a blatant trip of a Louisville player. In that one, Allen had just barrelled through the paint, maybe looking for a layup, maybe completely out of control and just looking to draw a foul like he so often does. He didn’t get one that time, so he took out his frustration by tripping Raymond Spalding.
It’s shit like this. And like beating Virginia on a buzzer-beater that came after a travel that was blatant even for the latitude these things are usually given. And like fouling out against Louisville, last week, then earning a technical for bitching about it. Shit like that.
But Allen keeps getting under opponents’ skin, and he keeps scoring points, and after a January hiccup that saw them drop out of the Top 25, Duke keeps winning. This isn’t the most talented Blue Devils team in recent years, but it will be as satisfying as any other when (if? oh god) they’re knocked out of the tournament.