Duke men’s basketball has won four straight games without all-world freshman Marvin Bagley III. That’s led a small contingency of Blue Devils fans to begin wondering whether the team is actually better without Bagley in the lineup.
College basketball analyst Brendan Haywood didn’t go that far, but he told Diehards.com that getting senior guard Grayson Allen to play better with Bagley has to be a priority for coach Mike Krzyzewski.
“Coach K has a lot of coaching to do,” Haywood said. “He’s got to figure out a way to get Grayson (Allen) the ball, get him his touches, and the guy that might be the No. 1 pick in the draft, obviously needs the ball.
“It’s weird that all the sudden, Grayson Allen is having some of his best games when Marvin Bagley is not playing. That’s a problem they have to figure out quickly before the tournament.
Without Bagley the last four games, Allen has averaged 23.75 points. On Wednesday against Louisville, the senior guard scored 28, which was his highest point total since Nov. 14.
In the last two games with Bagley, Allen was in single figures both nights and posted a combined 16 points.
When Bagley returns, Duke will have four 5-star freshmen and Allen in the starting lineup. While that’s a ton of talent, all five guys aren’t used to playing without the ball. Getting that talent on the same page is a problem any program would want, but it’s a problem nonetheless.
“There’s only one ball, but 4-5 guys deserve that ball. They have to find a way to share that pie and play well together.”
On Saturday, Duke will host Syracuse with a chance to extend its winning streak to five. Bagley remains questionable and the decision regarding his status likely won’t be made until a few hours before the game.
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