SALT LAKE CITY — Trivia-loving Utah Jazz fans will get a kick out of one particular tidbit regarding newly drafted Grayson Allen’s bio from his playing days at Duke.
This past season, Allen became one of just three players in Blue Devils history to earn All-ACC Academic honors four times. That’s only part of the fun fact. Amile Jefferson was one of the others. Oh yeah, some neatly coiffed guy from Seattle named Quin Snyder was the other smart baller from Duke.
Now that the Jazz made him their 21st pick of the NBA Draft this week, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard has an even stronger tie to Snyder in Utah.
Here are some other noteworthy things from Allen’s four-year college career:
• Career totals: 142 games, 97 starts and 1,996 points (12th on Duke scoring list).
• Allen is one of five Duke players with at least 1,900 points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists along with Grant Hill, Jon Scheyer, Danny Ferry and Johnny Dawkins.
• As a freshman, he scored 18 points in his debut (against Presbyterian) and capped his first year by netting 16 points in a reserve role during the 2015 national championship game as Duke beat Wisconsin. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski credited him for helping the Blue Devils fight back from a nine-point deficit to win that title, saying, “We were kind of dead in the water. We were nine points down and Grayson just put us on his back (with eight straight points).”
• Allen only averaged 4.4 points off the bench but evolved into a key player as a freshman, even nabbing Final Four All-Tournament Team recognition after averaging 12.5 points en route to Duke’s fifth national championship.
• Averaged 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists as a sophomore. His scoring increase of 17.2 points per game from his freshman year set Duke and ACC records for the biggest improvement. That year, he was also named a John R. Wooden Award All-American, a second-team All-American by The Sporting News and a third-team All-American by the AP and NABC.
• His averages dipped as a junior to 13.3 points, 3.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds, but he stepped up his game in two NCAA Tournament appearances (20.5 points on 42.1 percent shooting from 3-point range).
• Averaged 15.5 points, 4.6 assists and 3.3 rebounds as a senior for an Elite Eight Duke squad.
• Earned All-American and Academic All-American honors in 2016.
• Only scored two points but hauled in 12 rebounds with eight assists to help Duke overcome Wake Forest in January.
• Played well — 20.2 points and 4.5 assists — during Duke’s late-season stretch (7-1) that helped the team beat No. 9 North Carolina (15 points, five assists, five steals), No. 11 Clemson, Louisville, Syracuse and Notre Dame en route to the ACC semifinals.
• Scored a career-high 37 points (7-11 from 3-point range) in Duke’s 88-81 win over Michigan State in the Champions Classic in November 2017. That was the sixth 30-point game of his career.
• Averaged 15.5 points and 4.6 assists in his final college campaign while garnering third-team All-ACC honors and being named one of five finalists for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award.
• USA Today called Allen “the most polarizing player in college basketball” after he was involved in three separate tripping incidents in one calendar year. The first two came in less than two weeks against players from Louisville (Donovan Mitchell) and Florida State. The following season (also in 2016) Allen was suspended for one game by Duke and was demoted from being a team captain after kicking and tripping a player from Elon. Allen apologized after the game and added, “There’s no excuse for it.”
• That third incident led USA Today to explore whether or not Allen was “the most hated Duke basketball player of all time,” which is saying something considering the disdain so many have for ex-Dookie Christian Laettner.
• Krzyzewski forgave Allen, making him Duke’s lone team captain as a senior.12 comments on this story
• Allen’s antics resurfaced during the 2018 ACC tournament. He received a flagrant one foul after hip checking a North Carolina player during the Tar Heels’ upset win over the Blue Devils in the semis.
• Allen is from Jacksonville, Florida, and became a McDonald’s All-American at Providence School in 2014. He shares something in common with 2018 NBA dunk champion Donovan Mitchell as Allen won the 2014 American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk Championship. One of his impressive dunks included him jumping over 6-10 teammate Jahlil Okafor.