At Kentucky we love our players no matter where they grew up. However on the rare occasion when a young man that grew up in the state has the talent to play at the University of Kentucky we it makes being a member of The Big Blue Nation slightly more special. I personally believe that if a young man receives the High School Ky Mr. Basketball award, they should automatically be offered the chance to be a Kentucky Wildcat.
Thankfully, there hasn’t been too many leave the state. I think Kentucky has done a great job keeping talented basketball players in the state. The only real miss that I can recall in my lifetime is Chris Loften. I saw Chris play twice in the state high school basketball tournament at Rupp, and you could tell he was a player that refused to lose. That one probably stings a little more because he played for Tennessee.
Kentucky recruits nationwide, heck worldwide, so from all reports, it meant quite a bit to local product Dontaie Allen when receive his offer to play for the Wildcats.
Allen, who is from Falmouth, Ky. just about an hour away from Lexington, talked about growing up a Kentucky fan as part of Kentucky’s “Meet the Wildcats” .
“I remember the 2012 team with Anthony Davis, there’s so many memories,” Allen said. “I’d even go in my back yard and I’d be practicing shots that they’d shoot or the way Anthony Davis would block someone, like little things like that. And eventually to be here, it’s just so great and I’m blessed.”
Allen had a big summer last year, earning an offer on Aug. first & it didn’t take long for him to pull the trigger on his dream school, as he committed just a day later.
“As far back as I can remember, I’ve been a UK fan,” Allen said when he signed with the Wildcats. “The walls in my room are painted UK blue with pictures of Rupp Arena hanging with hopes and dreams of someday playing there. So many great players have come through the University of Kentucky. Being born and raised in this great state, this has been a dream of mine.
“Competing against elite level players reminds me of what my parents always told me: ‘Steel sharpens steel.’ I carry that with me. Having the opportunity to play for a Hall of Fame Coach in Coach Cal at an elite program like Kentucky in front of the best fans in the world, the Big Blue Nation, I’m just blessed and very thankful. Big Blue dreams do come true.”
Allen was named Mr. Kentucky basketball despite playing in just 13 games for Pendleton County. Before tearing his ACL, Allen was putting up ridiculous numbers, averaging 42.9 points and 14.2 rebounds per game.
Allen (6-foot-6, 185 pounds) finished as the No. 25 small forward and No. 108 overall player in the 247Sports Composite.
That meant that he was the lowest-rated recruit in a Kentucky class that finished No. 2 in the 247Sports Composite and included three five-star players in combo guard Tyrese Maxey and small forwards Kahlil Whitney and Keion Brooks. Fellow small forward Johnny Juzang, who reclassified from 2020, just missed out on a five-star ranking as the No. 32 player in the 247Sports Composite.
Those potential star freshmen — along with returnees Ashton Hagans, Immanuel Quickley, EJ Montgomery and Nick Richards and Bucknell graduate transfer Nate Sestina — are a big reason why Kentucky is generally projected as a top five
team for 2019-20.
After it appeared a redshirt could be in the cards for Dontaie Allen, it sounds like he may actually have significant role for the 2019-20 Kentucky Wildcats.
The four-star recruit from Pendleton County had a lot of hype at the time of his commitment this time last year. He had just skyrocketed up the recruiting rankings following a dominant summer circuit, then he scored the illustrious Kentucky offer and committed on the spot.
Since his commitment, the hype has died down significantly, not that is Allen’s fault. He suffered a season ending knee injury back in December and then was later injured in a minor car accident which broke his collar bone.
Now, Dontaie is finally on the verge of being completely healthy for the first time in a almost a year, and he is killing it in summer practice for the Wildcats right now.
According to KSR’s Jack Pilgrim, Allen has cemented himself as the best shooter on the team as of right now. The coaching staff believes that Allen is so good as of right now, that they would have a hard time red shirting Allen for the season, despite him still recovering from his torn ACL.
Allen has also bulked up since he got to campus, as has the rest of the squad. The coaching staff believes that Allen can be a special player in the long-term aspect.
Pilgrim added another nugget about Allen from his recruitment that should excite UK fans even more about the future of this Kentucky native. During the recruiting process, a source close to Allen told KSR that a high-major Division I assistant coach felt the Pendleton County star was going to be the next Kyle Korver.
Korver has been one of the best shooters in the NBA during the 2000s, so being compared to him is a high mark for Allen. We still expect to see Allen on the court sometime this season, but you know Calipari never likes to chance injuries that have occurred to his players, so he’ll make sure Allen gets all the time he needs to fully recover. Regarless, I look forward to see this Kentucky raised young man on the floor at Rupp arena.