Duke’s leading scorer isn’t going anywhere.
Grayson Allen announced Wednesday that he’ll return to Duke for his junior season rather than enter the 2016 NBA Draft.
“I talked with my parents and prayed about this decision, and I had the feeling that it was right,” Allen said in a statement released by the school Wednesday. “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.”
Allen is coming off a sophomore season in which he averaged a team-high 21.6 points and 3.5 assists per game in 36 contests. He also drew the ire of many college basketball fans with his chippy play while guiding Duke to the Sweet 16, where the Blue Devils lost to Oregon.
The Blue Devils now figure to enter next season as perhaps the favorites for a national title. Allen is sticking with a core that also includes Amile Jefferson, Matt Jones and Luke Kennard. Plus, Duke will add the second-ranked freshman class in the country, according to ESPN.com, which should help mitigate the impact of losing Brandon Ingram and Marshall Plumlee.
Many mock drafts pegged Allen, a 6-foot-5 guard who turns 21 in October, as a potential mid -to late-first-round pick if he opted to enter this year’s draft.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images