In Cal we trust. It is a saying that I have grown to know and appreciate over the past decade. When John Calipari passes on a recruit, it is usually the right call. Has he missed some guys? Sure, every coach has. Has he brought in some guys that are maybe not quite at the level people had though? Absolutely.
Dontaie Allen does not need to fall in the first category. I feel like we are beating a dead horse when we continuously talk about a four-star recruit in the state of Kentucky that reportedly has expressed interest in being a Wildcat.
One of the common things that I have seen over the past few months from fans is the notion that “maybe he isn’t good enough to play at Kentucky.” That is continuing to be proven wrong almost week-in and week-out. This kid can play basketball and I only want to see him playing for Kentucky.
Over the past ten days, Allen has received nine scholarship offers with eight of them being from Power Five schools. The two notables? Florida and Louisville. Other than maybe Duke or Tennessee, I don’t think anything would upset me more than seeing Allen commit to one of these schools, because Kentucky does not offer.
The pros to offering Allen are simple. For one, he is an in-state recruit. As those of us that have grown up in the state of Kentucky know, it just means a little more to us. Not saying that players from outside of the state can’t truly understand what it means to be a Wildcat, but there is something about your Rex Chapmans and Darius Millers. It just means more.
Fans like to gravitate towards the player from Kentucky, because they can connect to them on a more personal level. Look back on when Dominique Hawkins won the MVP of the SEC Tournament. Nothing really made fans happier. I almost had tears in my eyes watching Dom hoist the trophy.
Another pro, he is a darn good basketball player. He is 100% “good-enough” to play at Kentucky. This state does not turn out players that can be future NBA guys every year. I truly believe that Allen could be one of those guys.
While covering WKU this past season, I saw another in-state kid Taveion Hollingsworth have the best freshman season in the history of the program. Every time he took the floor I wondered how Calipari let him leave Lexington. Sure, he is a star in Bowling Green, more so than he would be playing for Kentucky, but I still wish more of an effort would have been made to keep him.
John Calipari needs to stop waiting around and offer Dontaie Allen. If he offers and Allen decides to go somewhere else, so be it, but we can’t let this opportunity slide. Hollingsworth said that the lack of an offer from Calipari was a factor in him choosing to play in Bowling Green. Cal cannot make that mistake again.