2014 Chatham Guard, Illini Follow Each Other

There have been many great players to come out of the Springfield area over the years. The next could come from a school more known for its football than basketball. Glenwood freshman star Peyton Allen showed at Collinsville why the Illinois coaches like his potential.

Peyton Allen is a 6'-3" freshman point guard from Glenwood High School in Chatham. He visited Illinois for Midnight Madness back in October, and the staff has been tracking him ever since. It is easy to see the upside in the young guard after viewing his game at Collinsville.

Allen has grown up a fan of the Fighting Illini and really likes the program. He has been following the current team closely and likes what he has seen. The guard says he would like to come back to Champaign again to checkout the team take on a Big 10 opponent at Assembly Hall.

"They are looking good. I want to go to some games and make another visit."

He did recently visit for the Missouri game in St. Louis. While at the game he caught up with fellow class of 2014 Springfield area star Larry Austin. The two have become good friends over the years as they have grown up playing together. Allen enjoyed the atmosphere that the Arch Rivalry provided.

"I liked the game very much. It was close until the very end. Great atmosphere. Everybody was there. It was a great game."

The Illini are not the only school the Glenwood guard is hearing from. He had planned to attend a game between two schools looking at him at Illinois State against the UNLV Runnin' Rebels, but he was unable to make the game because he was sick. What are the schools that are currently recruiting him?

"Basically right now it is Illinois, Purdue, UNLV, Akron, and Illinois State."

He talked about his team's comeback victory over Decatur Eisenhower in the second round of the Collinsville Holiday Tournament.

"We were down at half time but came back with some big shots in the fourth quarter and got the victory by 10."

Allen helped spark Glenwood when coach Todd Blakeman went to a 1-3-1 zone and put his young guard at the point of it. The first two possessions in this defense, Allen used his length to create turnovers by getting steals for his team. He likes using his length in this defense.

"I have long arms, so I like playing the point and getting steals and causing havoc."

Overall the season is going well for Glenwood. They were a low scoring team at the beginning of the season but have picked up the tempo and are starting to score more points. The Titans's guard talked about how his first high school season is going so far.

"It's going pretty good. We are starting to push the ball and score more points."

Allen is a very intriguing prospect for Illinois and other schools because of the maturity in his game at such a young age. He has a high basketball IQ and makes the right play. He is already 6'-3", and according to his dad he is not done growing, from what the doctors have told them.

Allen has the ability to effectively play in several different roles for his team. As the floor general he brought the ball up and initiated the offense well, getting his team into the proper sets. He can play this position at the next level because of his solid vision and excellent ball handling ability.

From the wing, he showed the ability to attack a defense off the dribble and get into the lane very smoothly. On one play, he combined several spin moves to get to the hoop strong.

His most impressive offensive play of the day was when he took his man off the dribble from the top of the key, drove strong to the hole and finished with an and-1.

He also showed a nice variety of hesitation moves and ball fakes to set up his defender for his offensive move. His shot was not on in this particular game, but his mechanics are pure with a free flowing release on his shot.

Allen talked about being a versatile player and having the ability to execute what the defense shows him.

"It depends on who is guarding me. If I have a little guy, I want to post up. If I have a bigger guy I want to take him out on the wing and take him off the dribble."

On the defensive end of the floor, Allen used his length effectively to get in passing lanes and strip defenders for steals. He moves his feet well laterally and plays hard on defense, which is half the battle for young players. Glenwood's guard also showed off his athleticism on defense with a big time blocked shot.

In his team's victory over Decatur Eisenhower, the 2014 prospect finished with 12 points and 4 steals. He is a good player at this stage with the ability to continue to grow as a player. It is apparent why Illinois likes Allen and other colleges have shown early interest in him.

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