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John Calipari: “I love Dontaie’s ability to score the ball.”

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky men’s basketball team has signed its first in-state player to a national letter of intent since 2013 with the addition of Dontaie Allen from Falmouth.

The homegrown talent signed an NLI at Pendelton County High School on Friday, officially becoming a Kentucky Wildcat. Allen joins Tyrese Maxey, who signed Wednesday, as UK’s first two signees during the fall signing period.

Allen, a talented, high-scoring wing who turned heads during the last summer circuit, is a consensus four-star prospect who will be eligible to play in the 2019-20 season.

He is the first player from the state of Kentucky to sign a national letter of intent with UK since Dominque Hawkins and Derek Willis, who were both part of the class of 2013 (current freshman Zan Payne joined the team as a walk-on in the spring and did not sign an NLI).

“Dontaie is one of Kentucky’s finest,” UK head coach John Calipari said. “I love Dontaie’s ability to score the ball in different ways. He’s got a lot of skills with the ball in his hands and athleticism to play above the rim. I’m always excited anytime there’s a player from our state who can come in and help this program and have an impact. Dontaie does all that for us.”

Allen dominated the Kentucky high school scene during his junior season, averaging 31.8 points and 11.4 rebounds for Pendelton. He shot 59.1 percent from the floor and 39.6 percent from 3-point range.

He jumped up recruiting charts after a sensational summer, climbing as high as No. 54 in Rivals’ rankings. 247 Sports lists him at No. 84 overall and ESPN tabs him at No. 91.

“As far back as I can remember, I’ve been a UK fan,” Allen said. “The walls in my room are painted UK blue with pictures of Rupp Arena hanging with hopes and dreams of someday playing there. So many great players have come through the University of Kentucky. Being born and raised in this great state, this has been a dream of mine. 

“Competing against elite level players reminds me of what my parents always told me: ‘Steel sharpens steel.’ I carry that with me. Having the opportunity to play for a Hall of Fame Coach in Coach Cal at an elite program like Kentucky in front of the best fans in the world, the Big Blue Nation, I’m just blessed and very thankful. Big Blue dreams do come true.”

Allen is a wing player by definition because of his ability to play both the guard and forward positions. His ability to shoot and handle the ball bodes well for where the game is trending towards, but he’ll also pose matchup problems for smaller defenders because of his athleticism and size. He stands at 6-foot-6, 200 pounds.

In every season in the Calipari era, the Wildcats have signed a top-three recruiting class according to the Recruiting Services Consensus Index, which tallies major recruiting rankings and plugs them into a formula to calculate a consensus ranking.

The fall signing period began Wednesday and lasts through Nov. 21.

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