The area will see a shortage of experienced post players this season, but help is on the way for the fans of the big man spot. The area’s underclass has some talented inside players, including sophomore DJ Allen for Leo. Allen gained valuable experience in a starting role immediately for the Lions last season and is a big piece in their ability to challenge for a Northeast 8 Conference title in 2019-2020.
In anything, his fall season spent on the line for the Lion football program has only increased his confidence, physicality and lateral quickness. Allen’s progression this fall from week one on is a microcosm of how he’s improved on the basketball court, even through this past summer. It has also increased his playmaker passions, something that started to become evident on the court in January when he put up 18 points and has seven rebounds in a double overtime win against Adams Central that earned him the FAN VOTE for Performance of the Week on OutsideTheHuddle.net.
Allen started in 20 of the Lions’ 21 games a year ago, averaging team second bests in scoring (9.7 points) and rebounding (5.29). Allen is a big presence in the post and should be be happy using his body to create mismatches, things could develop quickly in his sophomore season. Allen is good as sealing a defender on his hip and his long, rangy arms give him the ability to haul in passes down low without the defender getting even a whiff of the ball. In strong post play, getting the ball is half the battle, so Allen will need to push even more to finish once it is in his hands.
“DJ is coming off a good freshman season. He really improved as the year went along. His rebounding, defense, and scoring around the hoop are his strengths,” says Leo coach Cary Cogdell. “He has gotten better and stronger in the off season.”