John Calipari on Dontaie Allen: “I’m not sure he’s ready yet.”

Dontaie Allen (Denise Henderson Photo)


Earlier this week Kentucky coach John Calipari mentioned that freshman Dontaie Allen might be getting healthy enough to play this season. He injured his knee in December of 2108 and broke his collarbone last May.

Allen was Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball when he led the state in scoring at Pendleton County. He shot up in the recruiting rankings the summer before his senior season.

Here’s what Calipari said about Allen Friday and I still think it is just too late in the season for Calipari to try to work in a new player — but it certainly would not be the first time I guessed wrong about Calipari if he does decide to play Allen.

On Dontaie Allen and if there are any developments after saying Tuesday he may consider playing him …
“I’m not sure he’s ready yet. He’s going hard and he’s never gone this hard. Now, we just have to see what kind of shape he’s in. I asked Kenny (Payne) and he said, ‘I don’t think he’s ready yet.’ But we’ll see.”

On if there’s a timetable to make a decision on Allen …
“We don’t know how this all is going to play out. So, I don’t want to say. But I don’t want to do is use a year of his eligibility for no reason. I mean, there’s got to be some reason we’re doing it.”

On if he’d be in favor of the football rule of being able to play redshirt players a few games during their redshirt season …
“I kind of like that. I kind of like what they do. I’m not sure, does football like it? [Reporters: They love it.] Then I would say we probably should do it. Football loves it, let’s (do it).“

On if matters to save a year of eligibility for Allen given all his players who have left early for the professional ranks …
“Well, it’s not about me and it’s not about the program. It’s about him. If you want to do what’s right for us, you stick him in a game and you hope he helps you win, and if he doesn’t he never plays again. I’ve said to him, ‘You get yourself in great shape and then we make a decision. We’ll make one based on what you think.’ ”

On what kind of shape Allen needs to be in to play …
“Game condition. He’s behind in what we run and knowing all of the stuff that we go through. He’s behind. But he’s trying. The great thing about this team is we have a bunch of great guys that are talking to him. ‘Go down. Stay down. You’ll come off me. Yeah, this time.’ So, it’s funny to watch. But you kind of let it go because I do want them to be coaching each other.”

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