Saturday, May 3, 2008

Antoine Allen- Prep School is Right Around the Corner

At the Pitt Jam Fest, I had the opportunity to catch a bit of the Cecil Kirk (MD) versus Expressions Elite (MA) game. Although I did not get to see that much of the contest, I did see a Cecil Kirk 6'2 junior guard hit the game-winning shot in double overtime after driving to the rack as time expired. That junior was Antoine Allen. After he hit the big bucket, I spoke with Antoine for a bit.

NB: What went into that big play at the end there?
AA: Basically, . . . [it] just came [down] to . . . the end of the game, and then . . . we knew that we wanted the ball in my hands, so . . . hopefully I [would make] a smart play, which I did, [which] was, I didn’t want to take a jumper because if I would’ve went to the rack, either I was going to get fouled, or I was going to make the layup. So, I went to the rack, and then I just finished.

NB: What high school do you attend?
AA: Lake Clifton.

NB: In what state?
AA: Baltimore, Maryland.

NB: Are you receiving any college interest at this point?
AA: Yeah, Auburn, Rhode Island, Towson, [and] Central Florida [are interested].

NB: Have any of those schools offered you [a scholarship]?
AA: We [are] talking right now [about it].

NB: Is there a school [that] you currently have at the top of your list?
AA: No, not right now.

NB: Growing up, what school did you root for? Is there a school [that] you always dreamed of playing [at]?
AA: Tennessee, . . . I like Tennessee.

NB: If they were to offer you [a scholarship], what would you think about that?
AA: I would have to accept, . . . I would accept, only if I was getting playing time.

NB: What are you looking . . . forward to doing for your senior year?
AA: I’m going to Notre Dame Prep.

NB: What went into that decision?
AA: It’s something [that] . . . my coaches [and I] agreed on, and thought it would be best, so I’m just going to attend Notre Dame next year.

NB: What do you think the difference is going to be between playing at the high school level and playing at a prep school?
AA: I know that people [and] teams are older, much older than . . . high school because [in] high school you can play with a freshman, a sophomore, a junior, and I know that basically, prep school . . . is [starting] . . . off at older ages, so I just know it’s going to be more tough [with] more competition, which means [that] I got to work harder.

NB: How do you think that’s going to help you prepare for the college game?
AA: I think it’s going to help me tremendously, I think . . . prep school is just like a miniature college . . . [because you’re] playing against young men, so you just get ready for playing with them, so I think it’ll be good, though.

NB: Why Notre Dame Prep? Why not some of the other [prep] schools [such as] Hargrave [Military Academy or] Findlay [College Prep], a lot of those schools?
AA: Most likely Notre Dame, but New [Hampton is] looking at me, so I’m not sure which one I’m [going to] attend, but . . . it’s whoever [is] the cheapest, for real, . . . it’s as simple as that.

NB: What do you consider to be the strongest point of your game?
AA: [Pause] Defense.

NB: What about the thing you’ll need to work on the most?
AA: I think . . . I need to work on my whole game, . . . you can never say [that] you need to work on one area, you need to work on your whole game.

Allen may well be able to work his way into the rotation at Notre Dame Prep (MA), a school that is routinely stocked with talent, and recently produced Kansas St.'s Michael Beasley. Even if Allen does not get to star the way he does on his AAU team, he will certainly get more college looks, as New Hampshire prep schools are hotbeds for college coaches trying to find future players. Assuming Antoine keeps knocking down big shots at Notre Dame, coaches might be lining up for his signature on a Letter of Intent come signing time. Even if he doesn't hit any more game winners, he'll continue working on his game as a whole, and with the players and coaches he will be surrounded by at Notre Dame, he should be primed for a future at the NCAA level.

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