DURHAM, N.C., Sporting Alert – Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski used one announcement on Wednesday to put the Blue Devils in pole position to start as the preseason favourites for next season’s college basketball national title.
Following an unsuccessful defense of its title this season, Duke has announced that sophomore All-American guard Grayson Allen will return for his junior season in 2016-17.
It was well anticipated that Allen, who led Duke in scoring during the regular season and averaged 21.6 points per game, would have joined freshman Brandon Ingram and enter the 2016 NBA Draft.
— Duke M. Basketball (@Duke_MBB) April 6, 2016
However, the free-scoring guard, who was also named a first-team All-ACC selection, trampled the betting odds by making the decision to return to school.
Allen has averaged 13.1 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.0 assists and shot 40.3 percent from 3-point range in his 71 games overall through two seasons.
The Blue Devils on paper, will be well loaded for the coming season and were picked as the 9-2 favourites by the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook to lift the crown in the 2016-17 season, even before Allen’s decision stay.
“I talked with my parents and prayed about this decision, and I had the feeling that it was right,” Allen said on www.goduke.com.
“I love Duke and I’ve made relationships with my teammates that will last forever. Coming back next season to play with them is important to me.
“Earning a Duke degree has always been a dream of mine, so I’ll also be working to get closer to that goal.”
Krzyzewski, whose team went out in the Sweet 16 this year against Oregon, showed delight in Allen’s decision to continue with his development.
“We are thrilled that Grayson will be back with us next season,” said Krzyzewski on www.goduke.com. “Following the season, he put a lot of thought into an important decision that will impact the rest of his life.
“In the end, he chose to remain at Duke, where he will pursue an undergraduate degree and develop even more as a man and basketball player.
“Grayson’s passion and commitment to our school and his teammates have been very apparent in our discussions with him.
“On the court, Grayson is a warrior, as I’ve said many times,” Krzyzewski continued. “He has untapped potential, both on and off the basketball court. I have loved coaching Grayson and I’m going to love coaching him next season.”