Allen completes meteoric rise with pledge

Grayson Allen

Duke starts off their 2014 class in a big way with four-star shooting guard Grayson Allen.

It is amazing to think where Grayson Allen was a year ago today. The Riverview (Fla) Providence Christian standout was a complete unknown, and not just to the casual recruiting follower, but to the most hardcore as well. Quite simply no one knew about Allen, but that all changed during July.

The athletic 6-foot-3 Allen really burst onto the scene in early July at an event in Myrtle Beach, and then at the Peach State Summer Showcase he more than solidified himself as one of the top players in the class of 2014.

At the time Allen was playing on the little known Douglas Bros. AAU team. Now Allen is playing in the EYBL with the high powered Southern Stampede, and with good reason. Quite simply there isn't much that Allen doesn't do well on the floor.

While some point to his ability as a shooter, and there is no doubt he can make shots, Allen is much more than that. He has complete game.

Allen is probably at his best going to the rim and making plays. He does it via the pass and for himself by scoring around the rim or hitting from the mid-range. While Allen isn't a point guard, he does make good decisions with the basketball and is very adept at finding open teammates once he gets into the lane. Also his high level athleticism allows him to finish over taller players and also he is already strong enough to finish through contact.

What this commitment does is it gives Duke another great player and some very impressive insurance. Who knows which wings will be around for the 2014-15 season. Rasheed Sulaimon had a heck of a freshman year and could be primed to breakout as a sophomore and then transfer Rodney Hood is another prospect who will likely be someone that emerges on the NBA radar.

So while at the moment the depth chart looks stacked in front of Allen, it is very possible he could log significant minutes as a freshman along with players such as Matt Jones and Semi Ojeleye who the Blue Devils brought in, in the 2013 class.

Also Allen's versatility gives Duke a lot of options. While it isn't ideal, in a pinch he could run some point guard. That is the only area on the roster where Duke doesn't have much already in the fold for 2014 and beyond. Then also he has enough size and athleticism to play shooting guard and even small forward if the Blue Devils wanted to go to a three guard lineup.

Overall Duke got themselves a good player and are now off to an excellent start in the 2014 class. Allen is on the verge of five-star status as the No. 39 ranked player, and his skill set provides a lot of roster flexibility as the Duke targets other elite prospects.

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