Grayson Allen details how Coach K helped him moved past his tripping saga at Duke
As Allen prepares for the NBA Draft, he reflects on CBS Sports HQ about his toughest times at Duke
The 2018 NBA Draft is bringing a lot of buzz around a handful of players. But none of them carry the fame, and infamy, of Grayson Allen.
The former Duke star spent four years playing college basketball, three of which came under microscope-type media analysis and fan scrutiny. Because of his notorious tripping incidents, Allen turned into a public sports enemy at the college level that had never been seen in the modern/social media era.
But now, thanks to an impressive combine showing in May, buzz around Allen is that he's got a great chance of going in the first round. Allen went on CBS Sports HQ's "Reiter Than You" on Tuesday, speaking with Bill Reiter about his draft prep, but more poignantly, getting into the college experience and pitfalls of fame. You can view the entire interview above, or click here.
"I went through a quick swing of all of that," Allen said. "You think the end of my freshman year, from nobody really knowing who I was to skyrocketing onto the scene in the national championship game, there's nothing but good things to say after that. Then you get into the spotlight and it turns to hate. And after I make a few mistakes, it turns to more hate. So I really just had to learn to not think about that kind of stuff, really shut off all the outside opinions, focus on what my family's telling me, what Coach K's telling me, what my teammates are telling. Worry about those opinions instead of everything else."
Of all the people he spoke with, Allen said Mike Krzyzewski proved to be the most critical sage. He made a good point as to why.
"The best conversations I had were with Coach K," Allen said. "He is a guy who, his whole career he's been at this Duke program, and Duke is the center of 'You either love Duke or you hate Duke.' Being the head coach of that, a lot of the attention is directed at him. Just with his mentality, how he goes into it, I had countless conversations with him and he helped me with a lot of it through my career there."
What was also interesting to hear from Allen was how he didn't adjust naturally to being a breakout star in the national championship game. Duke won the 2015 title, and Allen came off the bench to score 16 points and help beat Wisconsin. For a few months, Allen was seen in a really positive light, but even that it wasn't something that felt natural for him.
"I think it definitely affected me at first, mainly because I'm a shy person, so I was honestly embarrassed and uncomfortable with getting the good attention at first," he said. "And then, so when it becomes negative it's even tougher that way."
Allen was mostly controversy-free last season, but his career did end on a downer: he missed the would-be winner in regulation against Kansas in that epic Elite Eight game. The tilt went to overtime, and Kansas moved on.
I have Allen going 33rd overall Nets, Lakers, Warriors, Jazz, 76ers, Celtics, Hawks and Bucks. Minnesota and San Antonio are forthcoming, and even still a few more teams after that will likely try to squeeze Allen in. From there, he'll be drafted and can finally, officially, try to move on and separate his name as best as he can from his complicated college reputation., but the reality is picks in the 25-35 range are still very fluid up until draft night. As of now, Allen's had workouts with the
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