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Thursday, March 7, 2013
ESPN 60 SG primed for big spring

By Dave Telep

In the coming months, you’re likely to hear the name Grayson Allen (Jacksonville, Fla./Providence School) quite a bit. By now, you know 2014 prospects Theo Pinson, Justise Winslow and Rashad Vaughn. Those guys sit at the head of the table in terms of available junior wings, and that’s cool -- they deserve it.

Grayson Allen
2014 SG Grayson Allen is the No. 36 player in the ESPN 60.
Then there’s Allen, a 6-foot-4 junior shooting guard who enters the spring armed with ammunition. He has himself a state championship and his team went 31-1. The only loss was to Arlington Country Day (Fla.) and Allen didn’t play in that game due to an ankle sprain. This kid can pass, drive and shoot it enough to be in contention to squeeze himself into a seat at the head of the table.

You have to love guys who continually polish that chip on their shoulder. For instance, I loved his answer when asked how he felt after winning the state title: “It felt great. What made it even better is that we lost last year in the state tournament, so it made the win feel even better.” That’s my kind of competitor.

On the spring circuit, he’ll run with the Southern Stampede while showing off a new handle. His audience will be strong. Everyone about to be mentioned has offered.

“People are coming and going as the season’s going on, but some of the best are probably Florida, Florida State, NC State and probably UCF,” Allen said.

Last summer, Allen forewarned some folks. He hinted that if Duke offered, the Blue Devils would be dangerous.

“They’ve been texting with me a lot," Allen said. "I’ve talked to (coach Mike Krzyzewski) a couple of times on the phone. (Coach Steve Wojciechowski) saw me play in high school and the next step is for Coach K to see me in April.”

Bottom line: Allen has our attention. He’s presently ranked the No. 36 recruit in the ESPN 60. He has the big timers in his sights. The question is: Will he make the move, advance his game and rise, or will he nestle up to his current ranking and be satisfied?