Road Report: Allen On The Rise

NORCROSS, Ga. – Michigan State's southern invasion yielded a winter commitment from one of the elite talents in Georgia's strong junior class. On Tuesday, Chris Allen led Meadowcreek past Milton in the state playoffs.

In the post-season the mantra is survive and advance but Meadowcreek did more than survive, it ripped through Milton en route to a Friday night meeting with Norcross in the Georgia 5-A state playoffs. Chris Allen, Meadowcreek's 6-foot-3 junior shooting guard spearheaded the 69-55 victory with 30 points.

Allen, who committed to Michigan State this winter, is a young man who flew somewhat under the radar last summer but not anymore, he's had the kind of attention grabbing season (27 ppg.) worthy of a future Big Ten player. Plus, Allen will factor into the next Top 50 list.

Against Milton, Allen used a dose of good old fashioned athleticism and size to take advantage of a smaller guard rotation that was helpless in checking him.

"They had a little guy on me and I was like, ‘man, I gotta get the ball on him,'" Allen said afterwards. Basically, after scanning the defensive mismatch in front of him, Allen went to work and kicked it into attack mode.

The future Spartan shot 19 free throws, making 17 of them. He was efficient with his chances from the field and scored 30 on just 12 field goal attempts.

"With a kid like that on your team you put it in your hands and say ‘go to work son,'" Meadowcreek coach Billy Davis said.

After next season, Davis will pass Allen along to Tom Izzo who revels in coaching kids with a strong work ethic. Davis said Allen is the type of kid who constantly works on his game.

"He works harder than anybody on the team. Most of the time your star player doesn't work as hard; but this kid never gives up and he works continuously. You can see it in the game (tonight); he got beat to death a lot. He went to the free throw line and knocked down those free throws."

Teammate Teondre Williams, a 6-4 sophomore wing who transferred into the school this season, says his running mate is a multi-threat weapon. "I think it's his athleticism (that sets him apart) and he can shoot. If you get up on him he goes right by you."

Allen is an explosive athlete and the natural comparison, from a Michigan State perspective, is Shannon Brown. The current Spartan is one of the best athletes in America and Allen has rise to his game as well in addition to being a strong perimeter shooter. Defensively Izzo will command more from him but he's a young man who isn't afraid to put in the requisite work to improve in that area.

Speaking of Izzo, a recent appearance at one of Allen's games was quite the experience. "It was crazy," Allen said. "The fans from the other school were like, ‘Izzo, come over here and sit with us!'"

Before Allen matriculates to East Lansing in the fall of 2007, there's work to be done. Mighty Norcross will pose a big challenge later this week and a Herculean effort from Allen will be needed to spring the upset.

Allen's 30 against Milton was merely a warm-up. "When it was time to take over I had to take over," Allen said.

Later this week he's likely to experience a similar urge against Norcross and it should be a good one!

  • Meadowcreek sophomore Teondre Williams has been to Georgia on an unofficial visit and is hearing from Florida, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. He's an explosive wing athlete who could wind up being a small forward or shooting guard. He had 12 LOUD points highlighted by a pair of vicious dunks.
  • Chattanooga assistant coach Brent Jolly was in the house likely evaluating Milton juniors Connor Nolte (6-5, SG) and Trevor Gaskin (6-0, SG). Nolte was solid on the boards but the noted sharp shooter couldn't get it working against Meadowcreek.

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