By LARRY VAUGHT
With all the anticipation about Kentucky’s upcoming basketball season and the overall giddiness that coach John Calipari has shown about the season, very little is being said about former Kentucky Mr. Basketball Dontaie Allen.
You remember him? He was having a sensational senior season at Pendleton County leading the state in scoring and rebounding before a knee injury ended his season. Then he broke his collarbone in an automobile accident on his way to rehab while he was still in high school.
He did not play at UK last year but used his redshirt season to get fully healthy and also get acclimated to John Caipari’s system.
Now could his scoring/shooting be the X factor on a young but really talented team?
“There were a lot of benefits to him being here last year,” Kentucky assistant coach Joel Justus said. “His eyes were a little bug-eyed a lot of the year. Even practicing as little as he did he got to understand how fast and serious it is here.”
Justus said even great high school scorers like Allen have to make adjustments in college.
“It’s not uncommon for guys like Dontaie who have kind of had their hand held in high school and coaches run this play for you or do this for you,” Justus said. “I would do the same and cater everything for my best player if I was a high school coach and let him do what he wants
“Dontaie came in here and the learning curve was so steep. Now he will be in a better place to really understand that basketball is about more than me. He’s a great kid with a lot of skills. We are expecting a big year from him.”