Grayson Allen’s actions are reprehensible and as I write this piece he has been suspended indefinitely. For those of you who are caught up in holiday shopping Grayson Allen deliberately tripped Elon player Steven Santa Ana during Wednesday night’s game. This is the third time in the past 10 months that this action has occurred.
Now let’s take that in for a minute. In a 10 month span a player from Duke Basketball has purposely and egregiously tripped an opposing player.
After the second trip last year there were calls for disciplinary action to take place and nothing came of it. We were told by the head coach of Duke, Coach K that he would be handling it.
Well how did that work out? It happened again last night. Did you handle it? Has Grayson learned his lesson? I don’t think so. Grayson talks a good talk, says the right things, apologizes to player(s), team, and coaches but at the end the behavior has not changed.
Or has it? I am a UNC fan through and through but I think I am going to do something here many would be surprised to read and hear. I am going to defend Coach K on this one and here is why.
Look at the reaction of Grayson on the bench after last night’s incident. Does that look like normal behavior? Nope. Those appear to me as the emotions and actions of someone who knows they are about to be punished for what they did. I think Grayson knew today’s punishment was coming and you know what?
It needed to.
Last night after the game Coach K wasn’t able to avoid the questions regarding the actions of Allen and he shouldn’t have. Did he answer them the way we, the public, wanted them to be answered? Of course not. He gave his Coach K answers. Called the actions “unacceptable” and told us: “I handle things the way I handle them. And I think I’ve handled this correctly, and I will continue to handle it correctly, and I don’t need to satisfy what other people think I should do.’‘ The last part of that quote last night made Twitter go crazy and it appeared that Coach K wasn’t going to be forced to do anything he didn’t want to do.
Guess what? Maybe he already had handled it.
We will never hear the full story when it comes to locker room conversations between K and his players, and that is his right, but my belief, based on the actions of Allen on the bench last night and Coach K during the postgame press conference, is the punishment was dangling in front of Grayson all along. Maybe after the second trip last year Coach K told Grayson one more of these type of incidents and you are done for X amount of games. I just don’t think that reaction is because Grayson received a Technical Foul, if it is we have a lot more to write about when it comes to Grayson. Words like “affluenza” and “spoiled Duke brat” come to mind.
Look we can all joke (partly) about the Duke stereotypical bad boy. The player opponents love to hate. Names like Laettner, Wojo, Scheyer, and Reddick come to mind. The difference with most of these players (Laettner excluded) is that they played with a brashness and cockiness that was easy to hate but usually did not purposely go after opponents. Laettner did have one of the most horrific chest stomping incidents in NCAA Tournament history and probably should have been thrown out of the game in which he hit his most famous shot in, but I digress.
When it comes to Grayson Allen I am going to go with the Hall of Famer here. I firmly believe that as soon as Allen tripped the opponent last night he knew what was coming, and Coach K knew what he had to do. It may have helped if he told us this last night but as he told us, he is going to handle it and it looks like he may have. Now let’s see for how long and if the ACC is going to get involved as well. My personal opinion is Allen will miss four games and return January 14, perfect timing for the showdown with Louisville.