Congrats to everyone who took “one game” in their office pools. In its second contest since Allen earned a technical foul, not to mention the renewed scorn of college basketball fans across the nation, for tripping an Elon player, eighth-ranked Duke put the junior guard back in its lineup Wednesday against Georgia Tech.
Krzyzewski apparently decided that Allen had learned his lesson, following an incident the coach had described as “unacceptable and inexcusable.” It was the third time Allen had tripped an opponent, after two such episodes in February of last year.
“I think it’s appropriate, what we’ve done,” Krzyzewski said of the suspension after Wednesday’s game. He added that Duke’s athletic director, Kevin White, also had input on when Allen should return.
In Allen’s one-game absence, Duke was routed in a road game at Virginia Tech, in both teams’ ACC openers. The Blue Devils appeared to sorely miss their second-leading scorer, an Associated Press preseason all-American, possibly contributing to the brevity of his suspension. In any event, many online observers voiced their surprise, if not dismay, at Krzyzewski’s decision to reinstate Allen so quickly, as they saw it.
Krzyzewski himself is set to be out for an indefinite period of time — but certainly for longer than one game — as he will undergo back surgery Friday. The coach will take a leave of absence, with his recovery time expected to be around four weeks, but he was on the sideline Wednesday.
“Coach K” was treated to a show, as Allen scored 13 first-half points while Duke jumped out to a 61-30 lead on Georgia Tech. He finished with 15 points and seven assists in a 110-57 blowout.