What impact will Dontaie Allen make on the 2020-2021 Kentucky Wildcats?
There has been a lot of talk in Big Blue Nation about Dontaie Allen. Allen is a 6'6" redshirt freshman guard. What impact will he make on this years team? Most think he will make a huge impact on the roster. I think it's more wishful thinking than sound basketball analysis. I will breakdown why that is and why Kentucky fans should be more patient with the young man:
1) He tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament(ACL) 12 games into his senior season of high school basketball at Pendelton County High School in Falmouth,Kentucky. He missed the rest of his high school season. He was driving to University of Kentucky for rehabilitation of his knee, he wrecked his car and separated his shoulder.
2) The shoulder healed, and Allen continued his rehab of the knee. Kentucky took it slow, and he tried to work out, but his knee would swell and he had to sit out again. This was happening as the 2018-2019 season was underway. He did show that he was the best three point shooter on the team in his workouts.
3) Allen finally was able to do consecutive practices and workouts.He was considered ready to play at the end of the season. The staff and Allen decided not to burn the redshirt and kept him on the sideline.
4) Being ready to play does not mean being ready to make a huge contribution. He was ready to play some minutes at the end of the season, this does not mean he was ready to be an effective contributor.
5) Coming off an ACL injury messes with you mentally more than physically once it has healed and the body is ready for full time action.
6) The coronavirus has limited workouts for all the players but more of an effect on Allen. Why? I think he needed to play a lot of pickup to get himself mentally ready to play college bsketball.
7) High school and college ball are totally different. College basketball is a higher level of play and Allen is coming off a serious knee injury.
Verdict: When Dontaie Allen steps onto the court for the season opener versus Kansas, it will be almost two full years of being out of game action. You don't come back and light up the world right away. He will probably be coming off the bench and it's difficult as it is to come off the bench ready to shoot and score. The rust from being out of game action so long will have an effect. You can have 1000 practices and scrimmages, it is not the same as game action. I think it will be tough on him at the start of the season.I feel by SEC play you will see Allen being effective off the bench and lighting it up. As I said it is not easy to come off the bench and light it up(Quade Green, Jemarl Baker, and Johnny Juzang are recent examples). We will only know from game action how effective Allen will be. Another thing to look at is the defensive end which will really test his knee. Allen will have a successful Kentucky career, I think it will be on the back end of his career(redshirt sophomore, junior, and senior seasons). This coming season will be a work in progress for him, and working his way back into the speed of the college game. Be patient with the young man Kentucky fans, don't have expectations of him right away, and with the talent we have on the wings, he should be able to do it without a lot of pressure from Kentucky fans. Yes a lot of these high expectations come from him being a native Kentuckian, but slow your roll with Allen Big Blue Nation.