UK Recruiting

Louisville beats UK to the punch with offer for in-state basketball star Dontaie Allen

Pendleton County's Dontaie Allen makes this shot for his 2,000 career high school point against Daviess Co. during the Republic Bank Holiday Classic in the Bueter Gymnasium at Lexington Catholic in Lexington, Ky., Wednesday, December 27, 2017.
Pendleton County's Dontaie Allen makes this shot for his 2,000 career high school point against Daviess Co. during the Republic Bank Holiday Classic in the Bueter Gymnasium at Lexington Catholic in Lexington, Ky., Wednesday, December 27, 2017.

Louisville extended a scholarship offer to Pendleton County basketball star Dontaie Allen on Sunday night, becoming the latest major college program to acknowledge the in-state recruit’s splendid play this spring and summer.

Allen — a 6-foot-6 wing prospect in the class of 2019 — is coming off a huge week with his M.A.T.T.S. Mustangs travel squad in Georgia, where he led the star-studded, 78-team Under Armour Challenge in scoring — also placing in the top five in rebounds and assists per game — and played in front of dozens of college coaches.

Amid those games, Allen picked up scholarship offers from Auburn, Florida, Illinois, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh and Saint Louis.

U of L Coach Chris Mack watched Allen play last week and saw him at an event in Indiana during the spring. Xavier was recruiting Allen when Mack was the head coach there, though new Musketeers head coach Travis Steele was handling that recruitment. Steele extended a scholarship offer to Allen shortly after landing the Xavier job, and Allen has also received offers from West Virginia, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and Western Kentucky this spring.

Allen will be one of the preseason favorites for Kentucky Mr. Basketball honors in 2019 and averaged 31.8 points and 11.4 rebounds for Pendleton County as a junior last season, shooting 39.6 percent from three-point range.

In addition to playing in front of college coaches last week, Allen also wowed national recruiting analysts, and his standing in the 2019 class is expected to skyrocket with the next update to those rankings.

Rivals.com did not have him in its Top 150 rankings heading into the week, but Corey Evans, a national analyst for that website, told the Herald-Leader that he now views Allen as a possible top-50 recruit in the class after seeing him play several games against top competition at the Under Armour Challenge.

UK Coach John Calipari also made a special trip to watch Allen play Thursday, and the Wildcats are keeping tabs on him for a possible scholarship offer. That could come in the near future.

“The way that he’s playing right now, it’s either now or never,” Evans told the Herald-Leader late last week. “I don’t know what else he would want from him.”

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