Allen Enters UNC's 2014 Radar

As North Carolina continues to search for a shooter to potentially round out its 2014 class, a new name has popped up on the radar.

Glenwood High School senior shooting guard Peyton Allen has had a big senior season and the native of Chatham, Illinois is now firmly on the radar of a number of high-major programs. Allen averaged 28 points a game during the State Farm Holiday Classic in December and has also put up big scoring numbers throughout the season in helping Glenwood to a 13-9 record.

Allen's AAU coach, Dana Morgan of the Southwest Illinois Jets, confirmed to Inside Carolina that the 6-foot-4, 184-pound guard has a couple of official visits lined up in the next few weeks as high-major programs from around the country have taken notice of the strong senior campaign.

Allen has scheduled official visits to Texas A&M on Feb. 4-5, Tennessee on Feb. 9-10, Butler on Feb. 12-13 and Vanderbilt on Feb. 15-16.

But, in between those visits, Allen will be visited by North Carolina. Glenwood High School coach Todd Blakeman said that the Tar Heels are planning to see one of Allen's games this month.

"According to (Peyton's) father, North Carolina has been in touch." Blakeman said. "They called me here last week. C.B. McGrath was the assistant that called -- and it kind of floored me because I wasn't expecting to hear from the University of North Carolina -- but they had heard through other teams that he hadn't signed and they needed a shooter. But according to his father, (North Carolina) is going to come and watch Peyton play on the 14th when we play Springfield High."

Although Allen has four official visits planned for the month of February -- after taking a fall official visit to St. Joseph's, which offered in July -- he's still open in the recruiting process as he gathers information and takes his visits.

The recruiting process for Allen had been steady throughout his high school career until a bout with mononucleosis sidelined him during his junior year of high school and he didn't look like the same player shortly after his return.

"He was out all of January and I think two or three weeks into February and he played two games (at the end of the regular season)," Blakeman said of Allen's junior season. "Because he was on some medication, he ballooned up a little bit, but he leaned up from last spring until now and it's been an amazing turnaround."

Despite Allen playing through his mono recovery, Glenwood had one of its best seasons in school history. But the schools recruiting Allen backed off a bit to see how he would recover. Allen played sporadically with the Southwest Illinois Jets during the spring and the independent grassroots program didn't play in many of the big shoe company events that dominate July's live evaluation period.

"I can't believe people didn't make more of a big deal about it last year," Blakeman said of last season's success. "We made the Elite Eight and we were a couple of shots away from making it to the state tournament. It was just a really special season, especially with the way the kids rallied around each other."

Blakeman said that Allen's battle with mono got so severe that he "couldn't even touch the rim in April because he was so weak and had put on weight" but he worked had to recover before his senior season.

"The number one thing is that he's stronger - with strength comes confidence and we knew he could play," Blakeman said. "You never really saw the real Peyton Allen his junior year. Down the stretch, I thought he was our best player during Super Sectionals, even at 75-80 percent. He really got himself in shape this summer. If he makes a jump like he made from the end of his junior year until now, if he makes the same amount of a jump into next year, he'll be one heck of a player.

"When he came back he didn't take for granted that basketball was always going to be there. Once he saw that it might not be, it just made him a different player and I think he appreciates what he has now."

The recruiting process for Allen picked up rapidly after the outstanding performance at the State Farm Holiday Classic.

"These teams have just seen him play in the last two or three weeks and when one offered, all of them offered," Blakeman said. "He's made great strides and he's a great kid and an awesome basketball player. I think just having the attitude with everything that he's come from, the sky is the limit for him."

While Allen gained his reputation as a shooter with decent size on the wing, Blakeman lauded his senior guard's ability to play anywhere on the floor.

"For us, I just tell him to be a basketball player," Blakeman said. "That's the best thing about Peyton: he's not the type to say, 'I'm being recruited as a guard so I have to play guard,' he'll play everywhere. I think he's among the conference's best post players and among the conference's best point guards, in my opinion. I just think that what he's done and how he's developed his game, he can play all positions but he's just a flat out basketball player."

Blakeman believes that Allen's attitude and leadership ability will allow him to blossom at the next level.

"Anytime you're in a sport and you have a kid out there that makes everyone else better you know that kid is something special," Blakeman said. "He just has a great attitude about him. He loves coming to practice every day. He's humble and he comes to practice everyday and really puts forth the effort and I think that's going to help him at the next level."

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