Duke star Grayson Allen hit a game-winner on Saturday afternoon, a tough, driving layup that gave the Blue Devils a 63-62 win over No. 7 Virginia in Cameron Indoor Stadium:
The location of said game matters, because it appears that Allen traveled on the play.
Well, more than “appears”.
Allen did travel.
Twice actually. As you can see in this screen grab, Allen’s foot came down before he got the shot off:
And if that wasn’t bad enough for UVA fans, Allen also quite clearly took three steps before releasing the shot:
There’s not really much to argue about here. Allen traveled. But before you get all riled up about the no-call, a few things to keep in mind:
- A player taking three steps on a drive is the call that referees miss more than anything, including block-charge decisions. It’s a very difficult call to see in real time, and if you’re going to make it in that situation — final seconds, in Cameron, on a Duke player — you better be damn sure that you’re right.
- The same can be said about Allen’s foot hitting the ground before he got the shot off. To figure out that the refs got it wrong, I had to take a screen grab from a slow-motion replay on an angle that none of the three referees had. It’s a split-second thing, and that’s something that’s rarely going to get called unless it’s obvious. Especially then.
- So yes, the referees blew the call. But I’m not sure there is a ref in the world that gets that one right.
And for what it’s worth, I’m not buying the whole Allen got fouled angle. That was great defense from Marial Shayok and an even better finish by Allen. It’s tough luck for the Cavs, but not really all that much different than winning a game like this.
Whatever the case may be, the result isn’t changing.
Duke got 25 points from Brandon Ingram, picked up their second win of the week over a ranked opponent and now head to their most difficult week of the season — at North Carolina and at Louisville — playing some of their best basketball.
In the last two games, the Blue Devils have given up 1.016 points-per-possession, a marked improvement over 1.081 PPP they were giving up entering the day.
Have the Blue Devils solved their issues defensively?