Grayson Allen Scouting Report

CONTEXT

  • Grayson Allen has now logged 3,050 minutes of college basketball, which is incredible when you consider there was a real chance of him going pro after his breakout appearance at the 2015 national championship game.
  • It’s hard to say Allen is a substantially better player in his age-22 season[1] than he was then, or even as a senior in relation to his junior year. His physical profile (six-foot-four, 195-pound frame) remains the same as well.
  • Duke has fewer capable off dribble scorers than last season’s team, with Jayson Tatum, Luke Kennard and Frank Jackson all departing. Yet, Allen’s usage rate and assist percentages are down.
  • His role remains as an off guard whose ability to shoot on the move is leveraged mostly by having him work off screens for catches on the side of the floor, but he also runs point when Trevon Duval sits.
  • His defense remains unimpressive at best. Allen looks like he gives a crap out there, which is something, but lacks the physical traits to be an impact player and has never shown particularly impressive instincts executing the scheme.
  • He is probably one of the reasons why Duke has played so much zone defense over the last couple of years.

SHOOTING

  • Allen has been a really sick shooter throughout his college career. He is not just a gunner defenses can’t help off spotting up on the weak-side or lose relocating to open spots around the perimeter but also someone who can make shots on the move — sprinting from one side to the other around staggered screens and to the ball on dribble hand-offs.
  • Allen has nailed 39.5% of his 574 three-point shots over the last three-and-a-half seasons, at a pace of 7.5 such attempts per 40 minutes[2]. He’s converted 83.4% of his 507 foul shots over the same stretch.
  • His release is quite quick coming off these down screens, his balance elevating at a moment’s notice is exceptional and he can make shots without needing to dip for rhythm.
  • His quick trigger projects as an asset to be leveraged as the backscreener popping to the arc on Spain pick-and-rolls and his range could make him a weapon for Spanoulis pick-and-rolls (sprinting from the backline to a hand-off at the top of the key), which the Utah Jazz are starting to make popular in the NBA.
  • Allen is extremely impressive using shot fakes to attack closeouts but is usually looking to set up a stop-and-pop mid-range jumper when he is forced to put the ball on the floor.
  • He can hang dribble into pull-ups OK in instances where he transitions into an isolation after stopping the ball but his MO is mostly a couple of hard dribbles, stopping on a dime and leaning into his defender to create separation for a step-back jumper.
  • Allen has hit 43.2% of his 37 two-point shots away from the rim this season, with just five of his 16 makes assisted[3].

SHOT CREATION

  • Allen does a good job curling around down screens into the middle of the lane and can get to the basket some on straight line drives off a live dribble against a scrambling defense.
  • He is not an explosive player against a set defender in isolation and hasn’t yet developed much strength in his 195-pound frame just bully his way to the rim off the bounce often. He also hasn’t shown much in terms of dribble moves.
  • His handle isn’t particularly impressive, though he has been a low turnover player throughout his time at Duke.
  • Allen has taken just 19.9% of his shots at the basket this season, after that rate was 19.3% a year ago. He is also averaging just 4.3 foul shots per 40 minutes.
  • Allen runs point when Trevon Duval hits the bench and remains an adequate pick-and-roll runner. He manipulates his man around the ball-screen well and can make a quick bounce pass if the defenders overcommit.
  • Allen can get deep into the lane from time to time and make a wraparound pass to a big close by in traffic but he is more often looking to get to his spots for a pull-up and hasn’t yet shown to be an advanced passer in terms of hitting weak-shooters with passes to the opposite end of the floor or tie up the help defender to free his roll man for an alley-oop.
  • Allen does do an excellent job making the extra pass around the horn and on kickouts to the strong-side off a closeout attack.
  • He’s assisted on 20.4% of Duke’s scores when he’s been on the floor this season.

FINISHING

  • Allen is an explosive leaper in the open court but struggles to go up with the same sort of power in the half-court.
  • He’s shown some creativity elevating off the wrong foot to try neutralizing shot blockers in the past but his most capable of way of finishing remains a speed layup.
  • He can adjust his body in the air to attempt reverses but doesn’t have top end athleticism to hang and lacks length to over-extend and complete tough finishes.
  • Allen has shot 63.3% at the rim this season but just nine of his 19 makes have been unassisted. He’s shot just 37.7% on 172 two-point attempts against teams in the Associated Press’ top 25 over his time at Duke[4].

DEFENSE

  • Allen has decent lateral quickness to stay in front or at least attached in isolation and his flops lead to some charges every now and then. But he lacks strength to contain dribble penetration and length to contest shots effectively or reach around to strip his man of the ball.
  • Allen is attentive enough to ice pick-and-rolls and works to go over the screen regularly but doesn’t play with a lot of intensity getting skinny and looking to stay attached, so he is totally dependent on his big preventing the ball-handler from getting downhill right away to make it back in front in a way that doesn’t compromise the scheme behind him.
  • His closeouts are iffy and he lacks the length to contest catch-and-shoot’s effectively anyway.
  • Allen stays on a stance off the ball but isn’t much of an asset in help defense. He lacks the length to make many plays in the passing lanes and hasn’t yet developed an understanding of how to make himself a presence near the basket more often.
  • He’s collected just 8.2% of opponents’ misses when he’s been on the floor this season, but 10.8% over his three-and-a-half year stay at Duke.
  • Allen has the third worst defensive rating on the team among rotation players this season[5].

[1] DOB: 10/8/1995

[2] According to sports-reference

[3] According to hoop-math

[4] According to RealGM

[5] According to sports-reference

READ MORE: What was written on Allen last year.

Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

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