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Dontaie Allen praised by John Calipari for defense

“This should be applauded as much as anything he’s doing!”

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Before Saturday’s matchup with the Florida Gators, Kentucky Wildcats guard Dontaie Allen had averaged over 18 points per game over his last two contests.

While he managed to see the floor for 22 minutes on Saturday, the freshman managed just six points on 2/5 shooting. He did, though, net back to back three-point shots in the first half to spark a 10-0 run.

Allen didn’t showcase outpour of scoring the many expected him to continue, but the trust from head coach John Calipari (22 minutes of action) is promising as the team moves forward.

In fact, Calipari sent out a tweet Monday praising Allen for the impact he made in the big win over Florida. But it wasn’t for Allen’s offense.

Instead, Calipari praised Allen for the very thing that was keeping the Pendleton County product from playing more: Defense.

At one point in the highlight, Allen helps force a steal that turns into a fast-break dunk by Keion Brooks Jr.

Regardless of the box score, the absolute best outcome is that Kentucky won outright as 4.5-point underdogs at Florida and securing their third-straight win. Sure, Kentucky should look to Allen more in their offense going forward. After all, he provides immaculate value in terms of spacing the floor and streaky scoring.

Kentucky’s next five games will come against Alabama, at Auburn, at Georgia, LSU and then at Alabama. This stretch comes before three consecutive games against top-25 opponents in Texas, at Missouri, and Tennessee.

Allen’s contributions will be significant in each and every one of the team’s matchups, but it’ll be most significant that he builds momentum heading into the team’s toughest stretch of the season.