2019 prospect and Pendleton County star Dontaie Allen has quickly become a fan favorite for the Big Blue Nation. After a dominant junior season and impressive summer on the AAU circuit, the 6-foot-7 small forward shot all the way up from unranked to No. 47 in the Rivals.com player rankings.
The consensus four-star averaged 31.8 points (nearly 40-percent from three) and 11.4 rebounds per contest for Pendleton County last year, where offers from Florida, Oklahoma, Louisville, West Virginia, Auburn, and Virginia Tech, among others, rushed in soon after. He has earned nine offers over the last four weeks alone.
And that list could grow very, very soon.
Currently on an unofficial visit to Kentucky, there are growing whispers that this is the trip Kentucky head coach John Calipari finally extends an offer to the in-state talent. With DJ Jeffries decommitting from the school yesterday afternoon, Allen shoots up the priority list and it only makes more sense for Coach Cal to make it happen now.
This afternoon, KSR got the chance to talk with Allen’s AAU coach and director of the M.A.T.T.S. Mustangs, Steve Quattrocchi. During the discussion, we discussed the prized prospect’s game, his recruitment, where Kentucky stands, and the DJ Jeffries debacle.
When asked about Allen’s skill set as a whole and how he has developed over the years, Quattrocchi said nothing fazes him, regardless of the competition.
“He’s extremely skilled, tough, can score on just about anybody. A lot of kids will struggle with athleticism, but nothing seems to faze him, whether they try to put someone quicker on him to guard him, he can shoot over the top of them. If they try to put someone bigger on him, he can drive past or create his offense off the bounce,” he said.
Now, he’s much more of a complete player with the ability to score anywhere on the floor.
“Really when he was younger he didn’t shoot the ball well, he was a streaky shooter, especially off the bounce,” Quattrocchi said. “He could catch and shoot, He has put in endless hours of gym work over the years. It’s one of those situations where if he misses now, I’m surprised. He probably shot mid-to-high 40-percent from three in July. He was primarily a driver before, but now he’s considered a shooter. He can still create his offense by getting to the rim too. He’s become much more of a complete player over the years.”
One high-major college assistant coach told Quattrocchi the in-state star has similar tools to one of the greatest shooters in NBA history.
“When he’s at the next level he’ll be able to come off screens, catch and shoot, catch and drive, that type of stuff. I had one high-major assistant coach tell me he can be the next Kyle Korver, and I can see that. He’s about the same size, can get his shot off on anybody,” he said.
Some analysts say Allen struggles on the defensive side of the ball and his athleticism falls flat.
“Defensively, he uses his basketball IQ to guard people. He’s got really good length,” he said. “The biggest thing people says is he’s not a good athlete, but it’s not like he’s unathletic. He knows with that length and that wingspan, he moves his feet well laterally, he can guard the elite athlete types.”
As far as Allen’s recruitment goes, the plan is to get it over with before his senior season.
“He told me this past weekend that the plan is to be committed and signed before the high school season starts, fall signing period,” Quattrocchi said. “He’s happy to have a senior year where he’s not worried about his recruitment.”
Even though he’s ready to get the process over with, Allen is still expected to take all of his official visits.
“He has unofficially visited several schools that have offered him, and he’s going to take his official visits. He’s really trying to figure out where he wants to play his college ball.”
And what schools, in particular, are recruiting him the hardest?
“Besides Kentucky today, he’s been to Virginia Tech, Western Kentucky, Xavier, and Vanderbilt. He’s going to visit Louisville unofficially too.”
With Jeffries likely headed to Memphis, Quattrocchi believes Kentucky would end up with the better of two if Allen eventually decided on the Cats.
“I’ll be honest with you, I think Dontaie is better than him anyway,” he said. “That might upset some people, I don’t know, but he’s a top-50 talent, if not better right now. And he’s going to keep getting better. His offensive game is more suited to college than being just a bully, which I think is a lot of what the Jeffries kid does. As far as being an isolation scorer, you’re not going to find much better than Dontaie, in my opinion anyway. Wherever he goes, he’s going to be a contributor however long he stays there.”
Whoever gets Allen will be getting a kid with great character and no baggage, Quattrocchi says.
“He really is a humble kid, I really haven’t ever had a negative interaction with him or anyone around him. You never have to worry about him doing anything he’s not supposed to be doing, the kid just wants to play basketball. That’s paying off for him now.”
On his current visit to Kentucky, Allen’s coach says the family is not expecting an offer or anything in particular, per se. They just want to meet with John Calipari and talk with a guy that “knows what he’s doing.” Allen’s mother and father want their son to make the decision that will make him the happiest, keeping themselves out of the equation.
“His dad has been pretty vocal that they are not expecting anything in particular on this visit, just wanted a face-to-face with John Calipari for the first time, which will be good,” Quattrocchi said. “He is a Kentucky fan, and I’m sure that’s part of it. His dad said the other day that Calipari knows what he’s doing, so let’s let Calipari do what he’s going to do. That’s the right attitude to have. You’re not going to deal with any of that with his family, his dad and mom, they get it.
If a Kentucky offer does come? It may be hard telling his “dream school” no…
“I don’t know if a commitment would come immediately… I do know that he, his dad, and his mom want to get through the process and take the visits and make sure wherever they end up is the right spot for him. But as a Kentucky fan, you get that offer you covet, there’s no telling. He’s still a 17-year-old, and an offer from his dream school would mean a lot too. Never say never.”
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