One on one with Grayson Allen

Grayson Allen

It's been a productive summer for Duke's first (and only) commitment from the class of 2014. Recently we had a chance to sit down with Grayson Allen as he competed in the Nike Global Challenge.

You really seem to have committed yourself on the defensive end of the floor lately…what's the motivation there?

Grayson Allen: It's just a competitive drive in me, you know the game was real close and I just wanted to lock up, defend my guy and help the team. Brazil's a really good passing team so as soon as you help, they find the open guy, we really had to lock up and defend one-on-one and that's what I wanted to do, I wanted to turn the game around defensively because they were scoring way too easily.

You have mentioned a lot on Twitter how grateful you are for this summer and what you've experienced—can you elaborate on what you feel so grateful for?

This summer has been amazing, it's the best summer so far I've had basketball wise, it's the most fun I've had basketball wise. Just the opportunity to play in the EYBL, it's by far the best league, you know Nike really puts time and effort to making sure the players are really taken care of on and off the court. They schedule the games real well, not trying to tire you too much and just to make it to the Peach Jam, to play on that stage, and then to be invited here to the Global Challenge, to wear USA across your chest, just to represent the USA South, it just means a lot, it's a real blessing.

You got invited to LeBron Camp as well, what was that like for you?

Yeah, the Skills Academies were just great, LeBron was great, it was a great experience to learn from a lot of coaches there, both trainers and professional, it just meant a lot. Development wise I think it's kinda like you see how much work you have to do because they show you stuff that's done at the college and professional level, stuff you really gotta work on, it's a lot of little things that they see because they have been around basketball for a lot longer than you have, so it's just little things like footwork, pivot foot, things to see defensively that can improve your game. There's a little bit I've put into practice here but I haven't had hardly any practice time after that because of travel, I'm usually home like a day, maybe a day and a half in between events, but I'm definitely trying to keep in the back of my head some of the stuff I've been taught.

Coming out of the summer, what are the things you are going to hone in on to work on your game?

Ball-handling for sure. All around I have room to improve in everything each year. With ball-handling I want to be able to play the one and the two, and also really work on my defensive ability. I think you can see that I've been working on getting low and really working on my on-ball defense. Pretty much I have great coaches at my high school who put me through great workouts that's all around type stuff, shooting consistency and other stuff.

What are the areas of your game that the Duke coaches have been asking you to work on this summer?

They've just told me from watching my games that they want me to stay aggressive and to keep attacking the basket. By staying aggressive it doesn't just mean looking for my own shot, but also looking to make plays that are there offensively. I have a little bit of a tendency to try and set up other guys and I can be a little bit too passive sometimes, so I just keep it in my mind to stay aggressive and always look to attack.

In the Duke system, do the coaches envision you being aggressive to make plays for yourself, fill a scoring need, or are they looking for you to be a playmaker for other guys on the team with your aggressiveness?

I think it's a little bit of both to be honest. Watching Duke play, they really space the floor well with the their guards, they really invite guards to attack and Coach K gives his guards a lot of freedom to both take shots and to attack the paint. He always tells his guys to look for their shot if they have it or be aggressive and make plays for your teammates as well.

You had a recruiting scoop a little while ago about Myles Turner receiving the Duke offer that you mentioned on Twitter, are you talking with him a lot about Duke?

We were on the same team at LeBron camp and I had no idea that he had gotten offered by Duke, so we were just sitting down hanging out and I had seen some stuff about him how he had just shot up in the rankings, got a ton of offers at the same time. We were just talking and he told me he had gotten the offer, so I didn't know that had had happened, it was exciting to hear. He asked me, "you are going to Duke right?" and he told me that Duke had been recruiting him and they had offered. Playing at LeBron, he's a really good player, he can pick and pop and he has skills down low, he's a really good presence down low on defense, he can block and alter shots really well.

Did he say how he felt about the Duke offer in your conversations with him?

I think he was definitely excited about  it, from what he said where he was at this point, he's at like 25 schools on his list, I think he definitely has interest in Duke.

Are you playing the recruiting role with any other guys you've play with?

You know a little bit but I don't want to be annoying to anybody, so I'm just really trying to talk to guys, get to know them, I'm not forcing Duke down their throats, I really just try to get to know them as people. I talk to Tyus a little bit, not about Duke, just talking. I talked with Kevon Looney a lot, and I roomed with him at NBA Top 100 Camp so we've got a friendship now, that's about it. 

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