Former Duke star and current ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas joined The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday morning to discuss Duke junior guard Grayson Allen returning from his indefinite suspension, which happened to be a single-game ban.
“I happen to think that the way it was handle was in the bounds was within the bounds of reason,” Bilas told Patrick. “I probably would have gone a little longer. But the fact that Coach K is undergoing surgery on Friday, I don’t know how much it factored in, but it clearly factored in to bringing him back now. And it certainly took a lot of the plate of Jeff Capel and the staff and the university to do something while Coach K had stepped away.”
Allen missed the ACC opening loss to Virginia Tech on New Year’s Eve before returning to the starting lineup on Wednesday night, scoring 15 points, grabbing three boards and recording seven assists as the Blue Devils throttled Georgia Tech, 110-57.
After Allen tripped Elon’s Steve Santa Ana on Dec. 21, many called for a suspension; some for a reasonable length, some slamming their keyboards demanding a not so reasonable length of time. For many, bringing back Allen after only one game — which came after a loss, nonetheless — only added to the criticism of Allen, who had tripped two opponents last season.
But calling it a one-game suspension is a little bit unfair.
This suspension lasted two weeks, with the incident occurring right at end of the non-conference slate and right before the Christmas break. During any other point in the season, a two-week suspension would span multiple games. Aside from the one game, Allen was stripped of his captaincy. For Coach K, a West Point graduate, a reduction of rank is impactful, especially when you consider Allen was the veteran All-American who was tasked with leading a talented group of underclassman this year. And for those who think Allen is getting off easy, he’s not done with this issue. Once he declares for the NBA Draft, each and every interview he goes through will involve front office executives grilling him on these incidents.
The word “indefinite” is defined as an uncertain amount of time. Given the unusual circumstances of the schedule and his health, Coach K decided enough time had passed to bring Allen back.