BOZICH | Will Grayson Allen be back when Duke visits Louisville? - WDRB 41 Louisville News

  • Will suspended Duke guard Grayson Allen be reinstated when the Blue Devils visit Louisville Jan. 14?

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BOZICH | Will Grayson Allen be back when Duke visits Louisville?

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There are no games in college basketball Saturday or Sunday but plenty of storylines to follow. There are no games in college basketball Saturday or Sunday but plenty of storylines to follow.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — I have no grievances to air or feats of strength to perform. The best way I can celebrate Festivus is a 10-Item College Basketball Notebook to carry everybody through a weekend of no games.

1. Will Grayson Allen Play at Louisville?

With apologies to Tip O’Neill, every college basketball story is a local college basketball story.

There’s no reason for me to write 750 words excoriating Grayson Allen’s WWE tactics at Duke. Everybody but Vladimir Putin has delivered a stinging opinion.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski let Allen down by not suspending him after the two tripping incidents last winter that preceded his meltdown against Elon Wednesday. Coach K’s dismissive post-game comments reinforced the Duke Knows Better narrative.

It was an air ball — one that Krzyzewski tried to rebound by announcing Allen’s indefinite suspension Thursday.

I don’t know (or care) what the internal penalty will be. I hope it results in Allen discovering why he has these unacceptable impulses he cannot control.

A significant part of Allen’s punishment will not come from Coach K or the Atlantic Coast Conference. Opposing fans will take care of him. Allen will hear things that would make Christian Laettner blush whenever he visits an opposing arena.

Will that moment come against Louisville?

Duke visits the KFC Yum! Center Saturday Jan. 14. The Blue Devils have two road games (Virginia Tech and Florida State) and two home games (Georgia Tech and Boston College) before visiting U of L.

I’ll predict that Allen’s first game will be in Cameron Indoor, where the reception will be a bit more adoring, likely before the Blue Devils get to Louisville.

2. UK-U of L, First Postscript

How are Louisville and Kentucky aligned in the computer power rankings following the Cardinals’ 73-70 victory?

It’s a split decision. John Calipari’s team is ranked ahead of the Cards in two formulas while Rick Pitino’s team leads the Wildcats in two others.

Ken Pomeroy’s formula has Kentucky No. 4 and Louisville No. 8. Ditto for Jeff Sagarin’s predictor formula.

Louisville is ranked fourth in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) and third in Kevin Pauga’s KPI formula, while the Wildcats are No. 11 in those two rankings.

You can pick your favorite formula or just point to the results of the game.

3. UK-U of L, Second Postscript

As I warned everybody Tuesday, I purchased a subscription to SynergySports advanced analytics. I’ll try not to overload readers with my love of numbers, but here are two items worth sharing:

With Malik Monk missing his first eight three-pointers against U of L, Mychal Mulder deserved more clock. Mulder led Kentucky with 1.5 points per possession, making two of three shots from distance. He looked ready to do more, but got only nine minutes.

Although Quentin Snider earned his Star of the Game recognition, Deng Adel was actually U of L’s most efficient offensive player, averaging 1.29 points per possession in 37 solid minutes.

4. Think Antonio Blakeney Would Like a Mulligan?

There’s no reason to get into Antonio Blakeney’s entire history with Louisville beyond saying that he de-committed from the Cardinals and decided to follow Ben Simmons to Louisiana State.

Draw your own conclusions about why anybody would decide to play for Johnny Jones over Rick Pitino. But say this about Blakeney:

He’s headed for an LSU career that the late Pete Maravich could appreciate.

I’m not talking about averaging better than 40 points per game. I’m talking about never playing in the NCAA Tournament.

LSU sat out the post-season last year and the Tigers are looking bound for Nowhere again.

Yes, they’re 8-3. But they’ve lost to Wichita State (by 35), VCU (by 11) and Wake Forest (by 34). Pomeroy predicts a 6-12 record in the SEC.

5. Where is Lepanto, Arkansas?

Malik Monk played high school basketball in Bentonville, Ark., the town that Walmart made famous in the northwest corner of the state, not far from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

But if you check the UK press notes, that is not Monk’s hometown.

He was born in Lepanto, Ark. 

“It’s a tiny place, closer to Memphis,” UK assistant coach Kenny Payne said.

How tiny?

According to U.S. Census material, Lepanto was credited with 1,893 residents in 1.5 square miles. That’s tiny.

6. More Love For OG

James Blackmon, Robert Johnson and Thomas Bryant have all scored more points than OG Anunoby for Indiana this season, but that is not reflected in the 2017 NBA Draft projections.

Although he’s averaging 12 points and 6.3 rebounds, Anunoby is likely playing his second and final season for the Hoosiers. 

In a look at the draft this week, three writers at list Anunoby as the No. 7 draft prospect. (The link.) That’s two spots ahead of Anunoby’s ranking at (The link.)

Consensus Top 10 picks don’t play three seasons of college basketball — even if they were consensus No. 280 players in high school before enrolling in Tom Crean’s developmental program in Bloomington.

7. Arrow Up

Hold all bets until conference play begins but I have three nominations for the Surprise Team in college basketball.

I’ll start with Baylor. Monmouth received seven votes in the AP college basketball pre-season poll. Ohio University received a vote. So did Vanderbilt.

Baylor received none. Now the Bears are ranked fourth, a spot they earned by beating Oregon, Louisville, Xavier and Michigan State. 

UCLA was supposed to be solid. Actually the Bruins have been unbeatable, climbing from No. 16 to No. 2. Do not overlook Butler. The Bulldogs have soared from No. 33 to No. 13, which is what happens when you handle Arizona, Utah, Cincinnati and Indiana.

8. Arrow Down

Hold all bets until conference play begins (in case you didn’t hear me the first time) but here are three teams who are not as fearsome as AP voters expected them to be.

Michigan State, Oregon and Connecticut.

Ranked 12th before the season, the Spartans lack an inside game, primarily because of injuries. They’ve been beaten by Northeastern (at home) and four other teams. They’re in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1997.

Oregon made the cover of Sports Illustrated in November as well as the No. 5 spot in the AP poll. The Ducks stumbled against Baylor and lowly Georgetown but can regain their cred in home games against unbeaten UCLA and USC next week.

Connecticut is three years from beating Kentucky for the national title in Dallas, but Kevin Ollie apparently failed to take advantage of that victory in recruiting.

The Huskies (5-5) started the season with home losses to Wagner and Northeastern — and improvement has been not been at a Final Four level.

9. Celebrating Conference Play

College basketball will lapse into Sleep Mode over the holiday weekend with no games Saturday or Sunday.

Then the good stuff begins. Conference play erupts with four Big Ten games Tuesday. The one to watch will be Michigan State’s trip to Minnesota. Richard Pitino’s Gophers look like a legit mate Big Ten sleeper, winning 11 of their first 12.

Wednesday has two headliner games — Virginia at Louisville and UCLA at Oregon.

Can’t wait.

10. ACC Magic

Yes, the ACC ranks behind the Big 12 in the conference power formula at both Ken Pomeroy and Jeff Sagarin.

But after going 19-7 while sending seven teams to the 2016 NCAA Tournament (two to the Final Four), the ACC appears primed for a bigger, bolder 2017.

Some projections have nine ACC teams earning NCAA bids.

North Carolina, Duke, Virginia, Louisville are locks. Notre Dame and Florida State have been solid. I’ve included Virginia Tech in my Top 25 for several weeks. Miami and Clemson have work to do, but are currently considered NCAA teams by Joe Lunardi.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

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