Today’s Article is by Rowan Shiell
Daniel Ewing is a winner. He was immensely fortunate to have played with some great players at Duke, but don’t let that fool you, he contributed to his record as one of the best winners in college basketball. On the court he was quiet and efficient while our eyes were trained on his more heralded teammates.
He played with Jay (then Jason) Williams and Chris Duhon, Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Carlos Boozer, the season after they won a Championship. It wasn’t his time, but he showed promise shooting 45% of his Three Pointers. Later Ewing would be a beacon of consistency while, a legend in the making, JJ Reddick, was finding his legs.
Grayson Allen is no Daniel Ewing. They may play the same position and are similar in height, give or take an inch, but what they most have in common is they each desired to be a Blue Devil, and their recruitment was just a formality.
The New York Times reports that as a 9th grader, Ewing went to his coach and asked ‘what will it take for him to get on Duke’s radar?’ and after his coach outlined key elements like good grades, and becoming an All American, Ewing went out and affected them.
Grayson Allen wanted to play for Duke as far back as a 7th grader, according to his coach Tommy Holihun. As a matter of fact, according to Laura Keeley, Allen would have committed on the spot after Coach K’s in-house visit if he had not promised his mother he would think about his decision carefully.
“Growing up, Duke became my favourite team to watch,” Allen said according to Duke Chronicle. “I don’t know what in particular made me gravitate towards them as a kid. I think it’s just the winning nature of it. I’m so competitive.”
If Allen wants playing time at Duke this season he will have to be very competitive as there are many players with a head start on him. So far he has made an impression.
“He’s been terrific,” Coach Nate James has said “He’s one tough cookie. In the drills, he is tenacious. He is like that pit bull that’s been let out and goes at guys no matter how big or how small.”
He may be the least ranked of the current freshmen, but by no means should you expect him to be an afterthought, as he is arguably the most gifted athlete amongst them and is lauded as a terrific shooter.
Matt Jones and Rasheed Sulaimon are the only other shooting guards on the team, but don’t be surprised if Allen fills in at that position occasionally with Quinn Cook or Tyus Jones. One thing about Coach K is that he is very unpredictable when it comes to his roster. Coach could just as easily go with a three guard line-up or four.
Whatever the outcome just know, Grayson Allen is right where he wants to be, competing at Duke and for Duke.
Daniel Ewing won 115 of 138 games he played in four years at Duke. Make that three Sweet 16’s and a Final Four.
If Grayson Allen can emulate this guy, or do better, Duke Fans will be better for it.
– Ro Shiell