Allen, a star junior guard for Fredericksburg Christian, had been in talks with Turgeon for a few months, as he was heavily recruited to come to Texas A&M. Coach Turgeon was the main reason I originally wanted to go to A&M. I love the way he runs both his offense and his team, said Allen. He was a point guard when he played and so we're able to connect very well. What I really like about him is that he doesn't make you a robot out on the court. You're never married to the offense. He'll let you go out and run and make plays.
The 6-foot-2, 195 lb guard is not your typical point guard. Allen is not only blessed with a sweet outside touch and a lightning-quick first step, but he possesses a 40-inch vertical leap. I have a very quick first step, but I can also shoot pretty well, he said. I tend to be a streaky shooter and play off my shot. My strong points are my athleticism and my ability to attack the basket. When asked about any weaknesses in his game, Allen stated that he would like to work on his stop-and-pop, mid-range game, which he hasn't had to utilize much on the high school level.
When asked about the effects the incredible change within the program will have on the Terps' future success on the court, Allen was very optimistic. I think it's going to pick up and they're going to do well next season and even better the season after that. Coach Turgeon learned from one of the best in Larry Brown and he's been around for 14 years, said Allen. He knows what he's doing and on top of that the fan base is incredible and will support us through the transition period.
Terps faithful think that the signing of Allen has started off what will be a very local flavor in the Terps recruiting endeavors, something that many said was lacking during the Gary Williams years. When asked about Turgeon's local recruiting prospects, Allen was quick to commend the idea. It's no secret that there are really great players in Maryland and Virginia and I think he sees it as his job to keep the best local players at his school. He wants the best of the best and he knows where to find them. Also I think he's going to recruit a lot locally because I know he doesn't like to fly.
Allen joins his friend, Justin Anderson of Montrose Christian, as the second commit in Maryland's class of 2012. I've known Justin for a while because I used to go to Montrose workouts and play with him, he said. We actually played Justin's team this season. Obviously he's a freak athlete and plays like a monster. We're not used to playing against guys of his size but obviously playing with him on your team is a big plus. Allen also noted that Anderson had reached out to him to congratulate him on his decision and remarked that to the best of his knowledge Anderson will remain committed to Maryland.
Although he was recruited by other programs such as UVA, Miami, Central Florida, Clemson and Old Dominion, Allen was always connected with Turgeon and spent a lot of time trying to convince his mother into letting him commit to A&M when the now Terps coach was still there. When Turgeon sprung to College Park however, the choice was an easy one. I always had wanted to play for Coach Turgeon, said Allen. Maryland is a top ACC school and it's also really close to where I live. I'm a huge family guy and so the location and the fact that Coach Turgeon was there made the decision an easy one. He's very close with his players, and he met my family, which was very important to me. I didn't want to make him wait because I knew he could take my game to the next level. So, when he offered me a scholarship I accepted on the spot.
At 16, Allen should be a sophomore, but even so he has embraced the role as the leader of his Fredericksburg Christian team. Now that he has gotten his college recruiting finished up, Allen is looking forward to his final season as a high school star. I'm really looking forward to seeing my team do well next year. I'm definitely using my time off to work on my game but also I'm going to push my teammates to become better players as well.
This early strike has to be music to the ears of Terps fans everywhere, who have been waiting in anticipation to get a look at Turgeon's recruiting prowess. It really means a lot to me that I was his first recruit at Maryland, said Allen. He told me when we talked that he wanted me to be his first commit and it is an honor to fulfill that role. Obviously it's going to come with some pressure but I'm ready for it.
With such an early, quality pickup, Maryland faithful everywhere can't wait to see what Turgeon will do next. One thing is for sure however: he has started off on the right foot.