Duke commits set the bar high at Powerade Jam Fest

CHICAGO — In an energetic night of dunks, 3-point shootouts and skills competition, Duke commits Grayson Allen and Tyus Jones stole the show.

Photo: McDonald's All-American Games
Photo: McDonald’s All-American Games

Allen won the dunk contest with four emphatic slams. After a powerful windmill and a through-the-legs flush in the first round. To start the second round he leaped over future teammates Jones and Justise Winslow. To finish it off, he skied over another Duke commit, 6’11” center Jahlil Okafor.

For the last slam, Allen donned a Duke jersey of former point guard Jay Williams, who led the Blue Devils to a national title in 2001. Williams was in attendance, broadcasting the game for ESPNU, and he celebrated with Allen after Allen’s victory.

Jones defeated Kentucky commit Tyler Ullis in the skills competition by a slim margin.

Dunk and skills competitions don’t say an overwhelming amount the impact a player will have in game situations, but they do give a solid preview. And in this case, the festivities showed that Duke has a pair of studs entering its backcourt next season.

Allen, a 6’4″ shooting guard, also had a solid showing in the 3-point shootout, reaching the final round. And his shot is what he is most known for. But his high-flying act Monday showed he will also be one of the better athletes in the ACC.

Jones, a consensus top-two point guard in the Class of 2014, showed off his ballhandling and passing abilities in the skills competition. He also excelled with his speed.

And together, along with Okafor and Winslow, this group of future teammates is creating a strong bond that will help their chemistry when they reach Durham, N.C.

“There’s a difference between talking to someone over the phone and talking to them face to face and hanging out with them,” Allen said. “We’ve become good friends and that’ll be really important for the next level.”

Author: Jesse Kramer

Jesse Kramer is the founder of The Catch and Shoot. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He has had work featured on SI.com, College Insider, The Comeback/Awful Announcing, and 247Sports.

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