ESPN has named Duke’s Grayson Allen the top player in college basketball heading into the 2017-18.
No Kentucky players made the top 20 with Hamidou Diallo coming in at No. 21.
Here is an excerpt:
1. Grayson Allen, Duke Blue Devils
One year ago I named Allen my No. 1 player in college basketball heading into 2016-17. No, that forecast didn’t turn out so well. If you had told me in advance that Allen would trip opposing players repeatedly and indeed with recidivist zeal I would have been markedly less bullish on his prospects. What has changed now? There will still be Grayson moments, I trust, but I’ll go out on a limb and predict a suspension-free year, one characterized additionally by a heaping helping of featured-scorer minutes and a very high number of makes from beyond the arc. If Trevon Duval is the point guard everyone says he is, that can only help Allen’s candidacy for national player of the year.
21. Hamidou Diallo, Kentucky Wildcats
After enrolling at Kentucky in January, Diallo has a head start on Kevin Knox and the rest of yet another incredibly talented freshman class in Lexington. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard waited to the last minute to withdraw his name from the draft, and now the Wildcats will benefit from his 7-foot wingspan and attacking style. A freshman season featuring a sufficient number of made 3s would likely be enough to put Diallo into lottery territory for 2018.
Honestly, I’m not convinced that Allen will be the top player on his own team.