2007 Introduction: Chris Allen

Had the summer lasted just one more month, Chris Allen might have transformed himself into a household name. As it stands now, he's on a lot of high-major hit lists and all accounts point to a breakout junior season.

Atlanta (Ga.) Meadowcreek is home to 6-foot-3 junior shooting guard Chris Allen. A big time scorer from the same area that produced Mike Mercer and Louis Williams, expect this season to be the one in which Allen carves out his own identity.

Talk around the Atlanta area is that Allen just might blossom heading into his junior season. "The kid can play," one national level AAU coach said. "Trust me, the kid can play. He is definitely right there with them Top 4-5 guards in the country. People didn't realize that he was there. They knew he was a good player; they're plenty of them. But he's past a good player."

After putting up 26.5 points a game as a sophomore you would have thought Allen might have drawn considerable national attention – and to a degree he did but his situation resembles that of Lewis Clinch more than say a Mike Mercer who had a bigger rep for a longer period of time.

"His greatest strength used to be the fact that he can shoot," Stacey Allen, Chris' father said. "People used to just label him as a shooter. I've tried to get him away from that. He's now shooting deep 3s. I think his greatest strength now is his creativity with the ball. Not only can he shoot but he can create. Some guys spot up but that doesn't necessarily mean you're a good basketball player. This guy is a natural scorer.

Already just two years into his high school career, Allen has drawn scholarship overtures from big time programs. Michigan State, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Clemson, Miami, North Carolina State, Auburn and Arizona are highly interested with some even having offered. Recently Tennessee and Virginia Tech have been to see him as well.

"The ones that have been the hardest lately have been Michigan State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, N.C. State and Virginia Tech," Allen's father said. "We look at playing time and systems. Georgia started recruiting him early and they've built a relationship."

Tom Izzo's crew, for the time being sits in the driver's seat. "Since I was little I've been liking them for a long time," Chris Allen said. In fact, he's been up to East Lansing, checked out the Spartans and considers them the leader.

"He's always liked Michigan State," Stacey Allen said. "His aunt lives there and he's always had an infatuation with Magic. There's just something as a kid that when you like something it sticks with you. We had a great visit up there and we were there the weekend they played Michigan.

"When they found out (how much he liked MSU) they started recruiting him. Of course he still loves them and they're his top school but during the recruiting process he's opened up a little more."

So, if you're looking for a new name to keep an eye on this winter, keep pace with Allen. The whispers coming out of the Peach State are that he's primed and ready for a big season. Time will tell if he can vault himself into elite level status but he's certainly going to receive a chance to play his way up the charts.

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