Antoine Allen Commits To Providence

New coach Keno Davis landed his first commitment in what could be a big recruiting haul for the Friars, when Antoine Allen of Baltimore verballed to Providence on Thursday. On Sunday, Friar Insider spoke to Allen. Here's what he had to say about picking Providence, his game and other matters.

The news broke on Saturday, but the truth is, Allen called the PC staff with his verbal on Thursday. "Basically, I wasn't sure when I was going to commit. I sat down and talked to my parents and coaches. I was comfortable with my decision," said Allen.

"They started recruiting me at the beginning of the summer," Allen told Friar Insider. "I really liked the coaching staff and the style of play. I was very comfortable with Coach Keno. I visited the campus a couple of times for tournaments so I've been up there."

"Coach Davis said he likes to run and pressure the ball, get a lot of stops and score a lot of points. He wants to play a high paced game with a lot of high ball screens and feeding the post. The guards have a lot of freedom in his style," Allen told Dave Telep of

Allen, a strong 6-2, 180 pound combo guard from Lake Clifton High in Baltimore, Maryland, was relatively unheralded by the various recruiting publications prior to the summer, but high-level coaches and schools knew who he was. "Schools that were after me and that I considered were Miami, Rutgers, DePaul, Georgia, Maryland, Towson and UCF," said Allen. "I always wanted to play at the highest level and the Big East is that."

While many scouting services see Allen as a combo guard and some question his ability to run a team, that's not how Allen views himself. "I see myself as a lead guard, running an offense," Allen told FI. "My strengths as a player are being able to score at will, playing defense, and throwing any pass." But opposing teams can't back off of Allen, either. "I'm confident in my outside shot. Yeah, I can shoot."

Allen isn't just a scorer, though. He's a guard that plays a complete game, whether its getting to the rim and finishing, picking an opponent's pocket, or dishing off on the break to a teammate for an easy basket. Allen is a bouncy athlete who slashes to the basket and handles well enough to create for others. He'possesses excellent body control, vision and ball skills and should be able to transition into a college point… but a point who scores and can also get to the glass. This past season, Allen averaged 21ppg, 6 rpg, 6 apg and 3 spg for his Lake Clifton squad and was a First Team All-City pick in Baltimore.

"I'd like to improve in every area," said Allen. "But especially in getting smoother at running a team and making guys better and happy." Allen played AAU ball for Cecil Kirk in Maryland and coach Anthony Lewis, who is very high on Allen. "In the Big East you need guys who can score and be tough on both sides of the basketball. He's that kind of guy," said Lewis.

Before joining Providence, Antoine will take his game to Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts for a season. This will give him the chance to get away from home, work on his game and experience life as a basketball player. "Me and coach talked about it and felt that Notre Dame Prep was the best situation for me," said Allen.

With the first commitment out of the way, Davis and staff can now turn their attention to filling up to five more scholarships in the Class of 2009.

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