By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky coach John Calipari continues to pursue top players in the 2019 recruiting class to add to his haul of talent at UK.
But don’t forget about Pendleton County senior Dontaie Allen, who has already given his verbal commitment to UK and will sign with the Cats in November.
“Since last year his body has changed immensely. He has bulked up and has put on muscle,” said Pendleton County coach Keaton Belcher. “But one thing that hasn’t changed is his strength is his scoring. He’s just an offensively gifted player.
“Remember he scored over 1,000 points last year in a single season and we played good competition. We played four Sweet Sixteen teams. Dontaie was great inside. He can score from mid-range and 3-point range. He shot 40 percent from 3 last year because he has a near perfect, smooth shooting form and a really good touch. His passing ability is underrated and he can find the right teammates at the right time. He’s also an exceptional rebounder.”
Allen takes little for granted. When he got back from a Virginia Beach vacation this summer, the first thing he did was show up in the gym to start shooting.
“It’s just a combination of God-given ability — some have it, some don’t — and his work ethic that makes him so good,” Belcher said. “He has played basketball literally from the time he was born. All he will do is eat, sleep and breathe basketball. He has gained valuable knowledge on just how to play the game.
“Dontaie will work out on his own. That’s what separates him from a lot of players because his work ethic is off the charts. Routinely during his sophomore and junior years he was in the gym by 6:30 a.m. The freshman year we actually did it at 7 (a.m.) but he wanted to move it to 6:30 his sophomore year, so we did. About 70 percent of the time he’s in there by himself. But that’s just how he is.”