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Jarrett Allen, 6’11″, Center, University of Texas, 19 Years Old
Jarrett Allen is a 6’11 center from Texas University who is projected to go in the first round from the 10-15 range. He is a powerful athlete capable of playing above the rim due to his incredible length, as he possesses a 7’6 wingspan. A highly touted player out of high school, Allen played in the McDonald’s All-American Game and lived up to expectations in college, scoring 13.4 points per game and averaging 8.4 rebounds. He was the lone bright spot for an underwhelming Texas team that finished 4-12 in Big 12 play and an overall record of 11-22. Despite playing for a bad team, Allen seems like a guaranteed lottery pick.
Allen is one of the most intriguing prospects in this draft because of his raw physical abilities. He is only 19 years old and has a 9’2 standing reach, something NBA general managers will be salivating at when they picture him as a rim protector and rebounder. His massive hands allow him to rip down rebounds with only one hand, which combined with his reach gives him an NBA ready skill. These physical attributes allowed him to have the 9th best offensive rebounding percentage of the Draft Express top 100 prospects.
Offensively, he is raw but shows flashes of what he could become. He has good touch around the rim with both hands, scoring 68% of his field goals from within 2-4 feet. While further away from the rim, he shows an evolving jump shot and an array of floaters. His mobility will be a huge asset for him at the next level as he is able to get out in transition and out-run defenses. On defense he shows some instincts, but often relies on his quick feet to bail him out of tough situations.
Most of the issues scouts raise when evaluating Allen is consistency and problems with his slight frame. He sometimes does not play with that high-end motor. That could be problematic at the next level when playing against physically superior opponents. When watching film, it is apparent that he can be overpowered and go missing in games with physical big men. Despite his length and mobility, he only average 2.0 blocks per 40 minutes. That is a number that will have to improve at the next level. Something that will also worry coaches and general managers is his habit of turning the ball over. He has a 5.7 assist percentage compared to a woeful 18 percent turnover rate.
Allen has the ability to be a good role player. It is unlikely that he is ever elite on either side of the floor despite his physical traits. His average basketball IQ will limit his overall potential. That being said, due to his physical ability he has a fairly low bust potential. NBA teams care less and less about size and put more value in length and mobility. Allen’s ability to run the fly all over the floor makes him a good asset to have. With proper coaching and a good workout routine, he could be an effective NBA player.
While many are comparing him to Myles Turner without a three-point shot, he lacks that same aggressiveness and swagger that Turner plays with. However, his impressive touch and ability to finish with both hands along with his length is reminiscent of Amir Johnson. He is an excellent roll man and was able to develop his outside shot throughout his career, something Allen should prioritize. While both are limited defensively because of their slight frame, they make up for it with their length and foot-speed. Johnson has had a 12-year NBA career and been a successful role player. Allen could have that same type of longevity if he can add strength and can adapt to the speed of the NBA.