One of the biggest mysteries from this year’s team has been Dontaie Allen. There have been reports on-and-off for weeks regarding his post-injury status and his participation in practice. Sometimes he even competes in the warm-up line before games, but the Kentucky native hasn’t officially checked into a game for the Wildcats yet this season.
Following UK’s 80-72 win over Mississippi State Tuesday night, John Calipari weighed in on Allen’s current status.
“Dontaie met with me, and we’re going to give him a little time to condition,” Calipari said. “I may start playing Dontaie… You know, he went through a workout with our team, like, doing individuals, and I had never seen him go that hard, like ever. I went: ‘that’s who you are now? Are you ready to go?'”
After suffering a series of injuries in his senior year – most notably an ACL tear in late December 2018 – the recovery has been slow-going for the Pendleton County product. If he doesn’t play this season, he’ll be able to use it as his red-shirt season, therefore earning an extra year of eligibility later down the line. Because of that possibility, Calipari doesn’t want to “waste” a whole year if it’s not totally and completely necessary.
“But what I don’t want to do is use his year if I don’t intend to play him. I’m not going to play him 30 seconds or a minute and use his year up,” Calipari told reporters. “I won’t do that to the kid.”
Calipari says Dontaie Allen has been going through individual workouts and he could play him – "but not if it's going to be 30 seconds." No use in burning a red shirt year.
"But if we can use him, we will. We're down two and the rent is due. We could use one more guy"
— Maggie Davis (@MaggieDavisKSR) February 5, 2020
Still, the team is relatively short-staffed, especially following Kahlil Whitney’s early and untimely departure.
“If we can use [Allen], we will. We’re down two and the rent is due,” Calipari said with a smile. “We could use one more guy.”