Perhaps the most amazing part about Duke’s national championship season was the youth of its shorthanded roster.
The Blue Devils only had eight scholarship players on their roster, but they made up for it by having three of the most heralded freshmen in the country. Center Jahlil Okafor, forward Justise Winslow and guard Tyus Jones are all sure-fire NBA players, but it was a fourth, much-less heralded freshman that sparked Duke’s comeback on Monday night. (RELATED: Duke, Krzyewski Win 5th NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship)
That honor belongs to Grayson Allen, the first of Duke’s 2014-2015 freshman to sign with the university, and the team’s first man off the bench. Allen netted 16 points — including 8 straight in the second half to close Duke’s largest deficit of the game — and his aggressive play brought Wisconsin’s starting 5 into foul trouble and reinvigorated the Blue Devil offense.
At one point in the game, Allen was so impressive the commentating team let slip that he actually has the highest vertical leap of anyone on Duke’s roster. A little digging, and I realized that not only can he jump, but Allen can throw it down with the best of them.
Here he is winning the 2014 McDonald’s All-American Slam Dunk Contest (WATCH):
And the 2014 American Family Insurance High School Slam Dunk Contest (WATCH):
Who said white men can’t jump?