Grayson Allen has evolved from the man who broke Wisconsin’s heart in the college basketball national title game to joining Wisconsin’s NBA representative in the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Young Gun Who Ended the Badgers’ Title Run
Just six years ago, freshman Allen put up 16 points on a 5-for-8 shooting effort in the Duke Blue Devils’ 68-63 victory over the Wisconsin Badgers on April 6, 2015.
Allen was the team’s second leading scorer behind Tyus Jones, who currently plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, with 23.
Allen scored double digits on only four other occasions during that season. From there, he’d go on to average 17.3 points per game (ppg) through his next three years.
Grayson Allen’s NBA Journey: Three Teams in Four Years
Allen’s professional basketball career began when the Utah Jazz drafted him 21st overall in the 2018 NBA draft.
After playing less than 11 minutes per game and shooting inefficiently from the field (37.6%) in his rookie year, Allen was shipped off to the Memphis Grizzlies in a package deal where the Jazz received veteran guard Mike Conley.
The Duke product saw increased playing time in Memphis, and his production improved with it.
Allen managed to improve in points (5.6 to 10.6), rebounds (0.6 to 3.2) and assists (0.7 to 2.2) per game from year one to year three.
After Allen improved his performance throughout his first three years, the Bucks traded for him last offseason. Milwaukee dealt shooting guard Sam Merrill and two second-round picks to get Allen.
Allen’s Role on the Bucks
Allen is now a prominent starter on the Bucks lineup who is having a career year.
Allen currently holds career-high averages in points (13.1), 3-point percentage (40.7), rebounds (3.6) and blocks (0.3).
The fourth-year guard also has the least turnovers per game of his career (0.7).
With third-year guard Donte DiVincenzo coming off of his second season-ending injury, Allen has been inserted into the roster as a regular starter.
Allen is playing almost 29 minutes per game as DiVincenzo continues to recover from his left ankle surgery. He also holds a plus/minus of 3.6 points for Milwaukee as the halfway point of the season approaches.
Allen tied his season-high of 25 points in the Bucks’ 116-112 overtime loss against the Pelicans and has recorded a steal or block in eight of his last 10 games.
Should the Bucks make another deep playoff run, Allen has some postseason experience under his belt from his time in the western conference.
The 26-year-old has averaged 5.9 ppg and 2.0 rpg in seven career playoff games.
After already scoring 18 points against the Jazz on Halloween, Allen will look to play his other former team in the Grizzlies in an upcoming matchup on Jan. 19.