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Coach K on Grayson Allen: Injury has ‘affected his performance’

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We’ve reached the point in time where it is fair to wonder just how much Grayson Allen is going to be contributing to the Blue Devils the rest of the season.

Wednesday was his worst game of the season, and it wasn’t even close. He played just 12 minutes, he missed all four of the shots that the took and he went scoreless. He also picked up a technical foul for slamming the ball on the floor.

That happened in Duke’s opening game in the ACC tournament — in a year where Allen was the preseason National Player of the Year, no less — and it capped a streak where Allen had averaged just 8.0 points in the six games that he had played in since putting up 25 points in a win over North Carolina in Cameron Indoor Stadium. He shot 26.4 percent from the floor in those games and just 9-for-34, or 26.5 percent, from three.

“When you don’t practice at the speed and with the reps that you normally do,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said after Duke’s 79-72 win over Clemson,” it affects your performance. And it has with him.”

“I think the injury is a huge part of it because he has not been able to really go after it in practice, and he’s lost his timing, his rhythm. Even today, what did he take? He took four shots, but the two threes he took were right on target, but they were a little bit short. We got to get him going.”

The injury that Coach K is referring to? An ankle injury that he hasn’t been able to shake, one that has kept him out of practice, out of rhythm and sapped him of the explosiveness that made him so hard to guard. In his stead, Frank Jackson has now started four straight games and, after dropping 20 points against Clemson, is averaging 18.3 points in that stretch.

But Duke is just 2-2 in those four games. They’ve gone just 5-3 since Allen’s slump started after winning seven straight games.

It begs the question: Why is Grayson playing right now? Were those 12 minutes he played today really worth it? The Blue Devils play again tomorrow against Louisville, and if they win that, they play again the next day against North Carolina. If Allen’s ankle isn’t healthy, if he’s too banged up to practice, does it make sense to run him out in back-to-back days in Brooklyn when A) Frank Jackson is out here balling and B) Duke has more important things to play for, like Final Fours and national titles?

In other words, why would you play Allen at less than 100% now when he can take this time to get healthy for the Big Dance?

He needs to get into a rhythm, yes, but a healthy Grayson trying to find his stroke is better than an injured Grayson that is half the player he can be.

VIDEO: Zion Williamson throws down a vicious putback

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Zion Williamson made another highlight-reel play on Saturday outside of Atlanta as he threw down a vicious putback dunk at the Best of the South.

The five-star prospect has returned from a minor knee injury this spring to look like his old self in July as he’s entertained packed gyms of fans and college coaches the last two weeks.

The Class of 2018 star is currently regarded as the No. 3 overall prospect in the latest national rankings.

(h/t: Courtside Films)

Five-star 2018 point guard Darius Garland cuts list to six schools

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Five-star Class of 2018 point guard Darius Garland revealed the final six schools that he’s considering on Friday.

The N0. 12 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to Rivals, the 6-foot-0 Garland is one of the top floor generals in the nation as he is still considering Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Vanderbilt.

A native of Nashville, Garland is a potentially elite perimeter threat at the college level as he’s one of the more deadly three-point marksmen in the nation.

Garland spent this spring and summer playing with Bradley Beal Elite in the Nike EYBL as he averaged 16.8 points and 4.8 assists per game in the league this spring.

VIDEO: Kentucky’s John Calipari participates in the #DriveByDunkChallenge

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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The #DriveByDunkChallenge is sweeping the nation on social media this summer.

Rules to participate are pretty simple:

  1. Drive around in your vehicle.
  2. Find a basketball hoop (or a basketball ring if you’re Ted Cruz) on a random driveway.
  3. Run out of your car and dunk on that random hoop while a friend films.
  4. Run back to your car and drive away.

Let Anthony Davis show you how it works:

Pretty simple, right?

The #DriveByDunkChallenge isn’t raising money or awareness for ALS like the #IceBucketChallenge did three years ago, but it’s something harmless and fun to do to pass the time during the dog days of summer.

Sensing an opportunity to join an Internet craze, while also following in the footsteps of his former player Kentucky star, Wildcats head coach John Calipari got involved with his own dunk late Friday night.

And his video is much funnier than I thought it would be.

While most #DriveByDunkChallenge videos are done by healthy and spry teenagers who are cruising neighborhoods during the day, Calipari, and his hip replacement, got in on the fun with a late-night dunk.

I love that Calipari ditched the ball behind his back while running back to the car after the dunk.

Most people who participate in the challenge usually have their own ball and keep it with them through completion. But Calipari either picked up a random ball in the driveway or just he lost the handle with his own ball and had a turnover.

The next time Calipari goes hard on one of his point guards for losing control and playing too fast, remember this moment.

Creighton’s Khyri Thomas posterizes defender

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Creighton rising junior wing Khyri Thomas, like several of his teammates, are taking part in the Omaha Summer League this offseason.

On Thursday night, the 6-foot-3, 205-lb. Thomas eviscerated a defender with a one-handed posterization.

Thomas is coming off a breakout sophomore campaign for the Bluejays. He started all 35 games, averaging 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Aside from the increase in offensive production, Thomas served as one of the top defenders in the Big East. He shared the Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award with Villanova’s Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges.

Zion Williamson throws down 360 windmill dunk

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Zion Williamson added another jaw-dropping dunk in the layup lines on the first night of the second live evaluation period.

Williamson and his SC Supreme team took on Each 1 Teach 1 at the Hoopseen Best of the South at the LakePoint Sporting Community in greater Atlanta.

The 6-foot-7 power forward threw down a 360 windmill dunk during his pregame routines.

Each 1 Teach 1 would pick up a 70-67 victory over SC Supreme. Williamson would end with a monster stat line of 37 points and seven rebounds.