The story of Duke and Grayson Allen getting away without a suspension is something of a chicken and egg ordeal. Would this be big news if it wasn’t Duke? Did they get away with it because they’re Duke? Hard to say what’s the stronger factor in all of this.
Allen got reprimanded by the ACC for tripping Xavier-Rathan Mayes of Florida States. Earlier, it seemed like Mayes tried pulling Allen down to the floor by hanging on to his jersey. He didn’t get anything called by the refs, which doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have been thrown out or attached with some sort of flagrant foul. He did get called for a flagrant two weeks earlier for doing the same thing against Louisville, pulling the leg trip on Ray Spalding.
Mike Krzyzewski, the supreme commander when it comes to right and wrong for Duke and in basketball generally, says Allen shouldn’t have been suspended. Obviously. While head coaches do get involved in character and try to do more than just make these players into winning basketball machines but also decent human beings, if it’s between these two options, coaches like Krzyzewski choose winning, every time. And if Allen tripping opponents doesn’t get him suspended and benefits Duke, he’s going to make it sound like some sort of witch hunt against his poor player just because he plays for Duke.
I would not suspend any player for what would be a flagrant 1. What he got was the stiffest reprimand a player in our conference has gotten this year. I thought the ACC took action. We’re moving on. The world doesn’t move on, because it’s Duke.
But what if this flagrant 1 foul happens again and again? What if Duke players would have been the ones getting tripped up all the time? Krzyzewski probably would have had a different answer ready. Did the ACC go lenient with Allen because he plays for Duke? Or did they reprimand him because he plays for Duke? Maybe if this was a Clemson player, no one would care or notice. Duke has a history of “villains” on the team. Allen fits that mold.
He was certainly a target for Pittsburgh fans as Duke lost to the Panthers 76-62. Did the crowd affect him? He was bad, but so were the rest of his teammates, as the Blue Devils lost for the 8th time this season and sixth in conference play. Krzyzewski already said once or twice, trying to lower the flames, that this isn’t the best Duke team he’s had, and that’s an understatement. The last thing this inconsistent team needs is its top scorer getting suspended, even if he deserves to be taught a lesson about the outcome of playing dirty.