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Grayson Allen returns to Duke lineup as indefinite suspension for tripping ends after one game

Elon's Steven Santa Ana (22) is tripped by

Elon's Steven Santa Ana (22) is tripped by Duke's Grayson Allen (3) in the first half on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016. Credit: AP / Chuck Burton

DURHAM, N.C. — Grayson Allen is back for No. 8 Duke after serving a one-game suspension for his latest trip of an opponent.

Allen was in the starting lineup for the Blue Devils against Georgia Tech on Wednesday night — the final game for Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski before he takes a leave of absence to have back surgery.

Allen was suspended indefinitely Dec. 22, one day after he was caught tripping an opposing player for the third time in a calendar year. This time he was caught tripping Elon’s Steven Santa Ana on a drive in the first half of a 72-61 win.

At the time, Krzyzewski said he would suspend the preseason AP All-American guard and his team’s second-leading scorer “until I feel good about the entire situation where he is at.”

Krzyzewski is scheduled to have the operation Friday and the school expects him to be back in roughly four weeks. Associate head coach Jeff Capel will be in charge during Coach K’s absence, with his first game coming Saturday against Boston College.

Allen watched from the bench in street clothes Saturday as Virginia Tech routed the Blue Devils 89-75. After that game, Krzyzewski revealed that he had stripped Allen of his team captaincy, and two days later Duke

Allen was also caught tripping Louisville’s Ray Spalding and Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes during games in February 2016. The trip of Spalding earned him a flagrant foul; there was no foul whistled after Rathan-Mayes hit the floor, though that move did earn Allen a reprimand from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

In a scheduling twist, Allen and the Blue Devils visit both the 12th-ranked Seminoles and ninth-ranked Cardinals next week.

Allen’s suspension was one of the latest twists in an already drama-filled first two months of the season for a Duke team picked No. 1 in the preseason on the strength of a roster that includes Allen and four immediate-impact freshmen, and one that now will have to deal with not having the winningest men’s coach in Division I history for a while.

Until now, the full roster has been available at the same time for only about three days, with three of the newcomers — Harry Giles, Marques Bolden and Jayson Tatum — sidelined to start the year with injuries. Giles, the highest profile of the bunch, missed the first 11 games before making his debut on Dec. 19 — two nights before Allen’s latest tripping episode.

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