Allen Relishing State Championship

Falling just short of a state championship a year ago, Jacksonville Providence 4-star guard Grayson Allen (6-3, 180) helped make sure it wasn't going to happen again. Almost a week after winning that state championship this time around, Allen is floating on cloud nine, but still focused on the future.

A 2014 phenom of sorts, Grayson Allen brings high velocity, high IQ, and big time athletic ability to the game of basketball and never seems to disappoint. He didn't last week when he led his team with a 29 point average in the state playoffs to a state championship.

"I am still up there in the clouds, it's great," he said before quickly remembering the disappointment a year earlier that made him and his teammates work so hard. "We lost in overtime in the semi-finals (a year ago). We got another shot and took care of it."

Allen says he worked hard this year getting better and it paid off on the court when it really mattered.

"I took the ball to the rim a lot better this year," he said. "I am a better shooter than I was last year. I had some big games under my belt last year and that helped me not feel the pressure, I just went out and played the game."

When you see highlights of Allen on the internet, you'll see a guy that flies to the rim on offense or defense. He surprises most with his ability to run and jump. A guy that started playing basketball only in middle school, it may be his deep background in soccer that he played from a very young age that gives him his feet, his jumps, and his quickness.

"I think the best part of my game is getting to the rim and using my athleticism to finish," he said. "Once the defense is in the way I can knock down the jumper and catch and shoot off the dribble (as well).

He averaged just over 20 points during the season knocking down 2-3 three-point shots a night. He also averaged 84% from the free-throw line. He took it to another level in the [playoffs averaging 29 points a game.

All of this ability has schools from everywhere on him pretty hard. Not all have offered just yet and some of the big college basketball names like Kansas, Duke, Indiana, and North Carolina want to see more of him.

"I am hearing from a lot right now because I am still open," he said. " I am hearing from North Florida, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Georgia, NC State, Duke, North Carolina, Indiana, Kansas. They all have been talking to me. All of them want to see me in April.

Allen says as far as colleges go he had "no favorites growing up," but says Florida is a school he is looking at. "Yes there is definite interest in the Gators."

John Pelphrey and Matt McCall are the point men on his recruitment and he talks regularly with the Gator assistants.

"I talk to Coach Pelphrey and Coach McCall," he said. "They are the ones recruiting me. I have also talked on the phone with Coach Donovan and been there on campus a few times.

"I like Florida because they are a great program. Coach Donovan is a great coach and very successful. I can confidently say when I narrow it down they are going to be there."

Providence High School is also home to one of Florida's best players Patric Young. Young starred at providence three years ago and keeps in touch with the next big star from his Alma Mater.

"When I was an eighth grader he was there," Allen said of Young. "We talk every now and then. He doesn't pitch anything to me, but we do talk some."

While we know the gators are in it for several reasons including location and success, the style of play also seems right up the alley of one Mr. Allen.

"I am just looking at playing styles and a place where I fit," he said of his future college home. "I want to see how they use their guards. I also want to feel comfortable with the coaches and have a good relationship with them.

"I want to see freedom for the guards… spacing the floor. I want to see them use the guards on ball screens and pushing the ball a little bit."

As far as a decision goes, he plans on narrowing down the list of schools he is looking at right after the spring basketball circuit is over. He would also like to make a decision on a final destination before his next high school basketball season… if possible.

"Right after that April season I will be narrowing it down and start setting up visits and get them going," he said. "I want to do it early if I can. But, I want to make the right decision about the University."

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