As it turns out, Grayson Allen’s “indefinite suspension” wasn’t too indefinite. The junior guard was suspended following a third tripping incident in a win over Elon on Dec. 21. Allen missed one game – which Duke lost at Virginia Tech – and was immediately thrust back into the lineup. He had 15 points and seven assists in a 110-57 win over Georgia Tech on Wednesday.
It was Duke’s most lopsided win of the season.
Was Mike Krzyzewski right to bring Allen back after only one game?
“It’s not what I would have done,” CBS Sports Network and CBSSports.com college basketball writer Gary Parrish said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “It’s not how I would have handled it. But like, whatever. I never understood what the actual suspension or punishment ought to be for tripping. I’ve seen guys throw punches in basketball games and only miss a game. I’ve seen guys return from DUIs and domestic-violence situations pretty quickly. So I was never hung up on the games as much as I just was thinking of it from a public-relations perspective.”
In hindsight, Duke should have suspended Allen for two more games.
“If I were Duke, once I commit to sit him out at Virginia Tech, the next two games are at home against Georgia Tech and Boston College – literally the two worst teams in the ACC, or at least they were supposed to be according to the preseason poll,” Parrish said. “So if I were in charge there from a public-relations perspective, I would have said, ‘Let’s call it a three-game suspension – one game for each tripping incident. We’re going to win the two home games no matter if Grayson plays or if Luke Kennard plays. Those teams aren’t good, certainly not on our level.’ Most reasonable people will accept that.
“But when you call it an indefinite suspension, lose a game and then bring him back immediately, you set yourself up for a lot of criticism,” Parrish continued. “Now if you don’t care about the criticism because you’re Coach K and it’s Duke, that’s fine. But if I were handling it, I would have been concerned about the criticism, and I think just letting him miss these two home games against bad opponents would have probably been the smarter way to go.”
No. 8 Duke (13-2, 1-1) hosts Boston College (8-7, 1-1) this Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.