Duke basketball’s top 10 shooters of the past decade

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
8 of 10
Duke basketball
Duke basketball guard Grayson Allen (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Top 10 Duke basketball shooters of the past decade: No. 3 Grayson Allen

3. player. 434. Scouting Report. Grayson Allen. Pick Analysis. Guard. 2014-18

Despite whatever you think about him, Grayson Allen was an unforgettable player. When people hear the name Grayson Allen, they either think about his infamous trips or his unbelievable championship game performance in 2015. Allen had some very high highs and low lows during his time at Duke. His career was certainly a roller coaster, but one thing that was always steady for Allen was his ability to shoot.

Allen came to Durham with the reputation of being a good shooter, but he didn’t shoot the ball well in the limited opportunities he had early on as a freshman. He showed flashes of being a good shooter and all-around scorer, but his limited minutes prevented it from being put on full display.

About a month before Allen’s championship performance, he scored 27 points against Wake Forest on 9-for-11 shooting and went 4-for-5 from three. That was his true breakout game. Those who watched that game couldn’t have been too surprised when Allen scored 16 against Wisconsin.

As Allen took on more minutes and responsibility the following season, his shooting numbers went way up. He hit a total of 90 threes, at right under 42 percent, which was the top 3-point percentage in the ACC that year. He also led the ACC in points with 779.

During his sophomore season, Allen had six games where he made at least five 3-pointers. His best shooting night came at Georgia Tech, where he knocked down 7 of his 10 attempts from downtown. Allen had to carry the offense at times throughout that season, but he certainly showed that he had what it takes to be a No. 1 scorer.

Allen’s shooting numbers took a bit of a dip as a junior. His percentage dropped down to just over 36 percent, and he made a total of 81 threes. That is still a big number, which would have nearly doubled up Matthew Hurt, who led Duke with 42 total made threes in 2019-20. Allen didn’t have to do as much on offense with the arrival of Jayson Tatum, Frank Jackson, and the improvement of Luke Kennard.

Despite not having the same shooting season as the previous year, Allen still had some remarkable shooting performances in 2016-17. He dropped 34 points on 12-for-16 shooting, including 6-for-9 from three, against UNLV. He also had some big shooting nights against arch-rival North Carolina, as he hit seven 3-pointers in their first matchup and connected on five of six 3-point attempts in their win over UNC in the ACC Tournament semifinal.

Allen picked the shooting back up in his final season as a Blue Devil. As a senior, he improved both his overall shooting percentage, 3-point percentage, and made threes from the previous year. Allen ended up leading the ACC that season in total made with 102. He also led the ACC that year in 3-point attempts with 271.

He was able to get a lot of open looks that season with the inside presence of Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. Allen’s game complemented theirs, and Duke developed a deadly inside-outside threat that season. Allen seemed to play his best when freshman point guard Trevon Duval would play well. Duval was very up-and-down that season, and that forced Grayson Allen to have to play on the ball at times, which made it more difficult to find open shots.

One of Grayson Allen’s most memorable shooting performances of his career came in the first week of his senior year. Allen made seven 3-pointers and finished with 37 points to help beat Michigan State in the Champions Classic. He also hit seven from deep in a home game against Virginia Tech that season.

Overall, Grayson Allen had an incredible shooting career, and I went back and forth about where exactly he should belong on this list. Allen was one of the most consistent and reliable outside shooters to ever put on a Duke basketball jersey. He also made big shots on the brightest stages.

Grayson Allen has a unique legacy at Duke, but his ability to shoot will never be in question.