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Regarded as the most influential player on the court, there’s no question that Kadeem Allen has developed into an unspoken leader and that was further displayed in Arizona’s home opener victory.
“Watching him tonight with the way he’s playing this early in the year is really marveling to me,” said Sean Miller following the 86-35 win over the College of Idaho. “His effort and his leadership as a senior is what holds this team together.
“We’re obviously going to count on him to do everything. Thinking about where he would have been a few years back when we redshirted him compared to tonight, it’s just really fun watching that development.”
Allen continues to exhibit exceptional defensive play, which Miller attributes to strong work ethic and focus.
“He had seven steals, eight assists, no turnovers and two blocks,” Miller said. “I’m telling you right now, I’ve not seen a better defensive player than him.
“When you look at some of the best defensive players that have come through here like Nick, TJ, Rondae, Kyle Fogg and even Aaron Gordon in his one year here, Kadeem is right there.”
While Allen’s primary strengths come on the defensive side of the basketball, Miller admits the fifth year senior must take substantially more shots moving forward.
“I consider him a second point guard out there even when he’s not playing the position,” he said. “We utilize him in multiple ways and we’re gonna do that even more now. We need Kadeem to have confidence in his shot and if he’s open, he needs to know he can shoot the basketball.
“He showed that last year as time went on and I think his confidence will continue to grow in that area because he’s expected to shoot more. He’s really become one heck of a player.”