By Liz Hammond, Digital Media Editor
Everyone who watches college basketball knows who Christian Laettner is, the epic villian of the Duke baketball team and what initially started the widespread national hatred for the Blue Devils.
Times have changed though and Laettner has come and gone. Since then everyone looks for a villain at Duke. Steve Wojciechowski was the one who took the role in 1994-1998, serving as the ultimate defense men. Besides that he was the one to make floor-slapping at Duke one of the most in your face, “I’m better than you”, moves.
J.J Redick took the crown in his time at Duke from, 2002-2006. He was in your face, and he was automatic from beyond the arc. He was named National College Player of the Year in 2006, much to everyones hatred. He was booed at nearly every away game, but still kept that same smirk the entire time.
Since these villains have come and gone it has been pretty docile. That is until one 6’5” freshman from Florida started his time at Cameron Indoor Stadium in 2014.
As most of you can guess it is, Grayson Allen. Who ultimately takes the crown as the most hated basketball player.
This hatred all started last February when he tripped Louisville’s Ray Spalding. Then he went on to do it again to Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes.
After this everyone was booing him at every game. When you were watching the game you could hear it when he was introduced.
But, it wasn’t the first trip or even the second that declared him the dirtiest player in college basketball.
It was in the game agaisnt Elon, where he stuck his leg out and sent Steve Santa Ana sprawling on the floor. He was benched right away, but when the cameras were on him you could see him throwing a tantrum, while coaches tried to calm him down.
This sparked a fire of hate for Allen, worse than when Laettner was at Duke. After this moment, everyone Allen did was seen as a problem.
This Tuesday the Blue Devils faced Michigan State. Some of the best players in college basketball were being introduced with a nice applause by the crowd. That was until it was Allen’s turn and the entire United Center erupted in boos.
It’s been a full year since Allen did anything to classify himself as a villain so why is he still being punished?
Most likely because of the D-U-K-E on the front of his jersey, but more importantly because he is one of the best players in the nation.
Allen took that welcome and shoved it in everyone’s face. He scored 37 points on 20 shots. He was 7-11 from three point range, and 8-8 from the line.
In his past three games he’s averaged 25.7 points per game and shoots a stunning 65% from beyond the arc.
There’s something different about his game and how he carries himself this year. It’s easy to classify him as a dirty player and dismiss him. But, this year he wont’t let anyone forget his name. He’s the senior captain of the Blue Devils this year and it doesn’t seem like that had fazed him at all.
Hating Grayson Allen is corny anymore. After everything that happened to him and after all that negative attention it would’ve been easy for him to leave the program at Duke and try for a career in the NBA. Despite all of that, he stuck with the program and decided to come back and prove everyone wrong.