Dontaie Allen came virtually out of nowhere this summer to land in the top 100 of 2019 recruits.
The Pendleton County star turned heads with his AAU circuit play and caught the eye of Kentucky coach John Calipari. After Calipari extended a scholarship offer, Allen accepted on the spot.
Allen is the first in-state player to sign with Kentucky since Dominique Hawkins and Derek Willis. Allen has proven that he can compete at the highest level, and his 6-6 frame gives him a lot of tools to work with.
However, his senior season of high school was cut short by a knee injury in December. He finishes his career as No. 10 on the all-time Kentucky high schools scoring list. Before the injury, he was averaging near 50 points per game and was on pace to challenge for the all-time scoring record.
Allen had surgery in early January to repair his torn meniscus and ACL, and just last week he and his father, Tony Thomas, spoke to Ben Roberts of the Herald Leader about his recovery.
“He’s been feeling pretty good,” Thomas said. “He’s recovering a lot faster than was actually expected.”
Allen is expected to be ready to play in October, which would be around the time that actual practice begins at UK. And while he will be able to start working out some before that, you have to wonder if a medical redshirt is on the table.
“It hasn’t even been brought up with the coaches,” Thomas told Roberts. “We’re going to take it one day at a time, and then when that bridge comes, we’ll see if we decide to cross it. We’ll discuss it a little bit more as a family and with the staff at UK, and we’ll make a decision from there.”
Perhaps the Kentucky staff is taking their time to assess Allen’s progress as well as the final roster for next season. If they fail to add two more front court players, they may need Allen to contribute off the bench from the get-go.
More information will come out of Allen’s camp in the coming months, especially since he plans to enroll at UK in June to get a jump start on his college basketball career.