What Could Be Expected If The Gators Land Andre Allen

One of the names that has been tied to the Gators for their final scholarship is 6’9” Andre Allen of Arizona Western, a standout JUCO performer who has great fluidity and athleticism which gives him the flexibility to play multiple positions and provide the versatility necessary for the modern game.

While the Gators were thought to be firmly in the mix their chances took a bit of a hit when Allen received an offer from Arizona State, an enticing possibility for him given the proximity to where he’s playing now, relative proximity to where he’s from (Los Angeles), and their likely willingness to take him right away. That willingness is definitely different than what the Gators are offering given that it’s appearing they are looking to wait out the Kerry Blackshear sweepstakes instead of taking a safer option like Allen who would provide solid production for his remaining two years of eligibility.

Big-game hunting is understandable for a program like Florida and it makes sense why they’d be looking to land Blackshear who could very well be the best center in college basketball anywhere he goes next season (of course, that is if he even decides to return to college) but missing out on a player like Andre Allen for the chance at Blackshear could be really hurtful to next year’s roster. As the expression goes, sometimes a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Part of the reason the Gators are so heavy into Blackshear is fan pressure. Blackshear’s name has been talked about by Florida fans long before he even threw his name into the transfer portal and for a staff that has been criticized (wrongfully so, in my opinion) for their recruiting and development of bigs landing Blackshear would really help perception.

While there are some fans that see the quality in Andre Allen’s game there still is some hesitancy from others and I think it’s due to a bias people have against JUCO talent. Getting JUCO transfers isn’t sexy in some people’s eyes and if the Gators were to take a JUCO player when some fans are entirely fixated on Blackshear there would be some backlash.

Personally, I don’t think that’s fair and I thought I’d put together some names from JUCO standouts through the past few years to see what production we might be able to expect from Andre Allen if he comes to Florida.

I used the rankings from JUCO Recruiting, a website that pretty much dominates the market on JUCO recruiting, so rankings I reference will be from there.

Here is where Andre Allen fits. He’s 10th in the rankings, and it also should be noted that he’s the highest ranked player that isn’t a JUCO bounce-back, meaning all the players ahead of him, and most of the players behind him, are players who played a year of D-1 before transferring to JUCO for their sophomore year. Allen went to Arizona Western right out of high school which differentiates himself from a lot of JUCO talents and the way he went from a JUCO player right out of high school to a heavily sought-after high major recruit shows the developmental curve he’s on.

Seeing how he’s the 10th ranked player in this year’s rankings you can keep that in mind when you see the production and rankings of past JUCO players. By doing that, we should see just what kind of play we might see from Allen, wherever he ends up going.

2012

Marshall Henderson
Ole Miss
JUCO Ranking: 10th

We all remember Marshall Henderson, right? This two-time All-SEC player was ranked 10th, exactly the same as Allen.

2013

Delon Wright
Utah
JUCO Ranking: 17th

Two-time All-Pac-12 and a consensus second-team All-American. Not bad for a guy ranked 17th.

2014

Gary Payton II
Oregon State
JUCO Ranking: 11th

Another two-time All-Pac-12 player right around Allen’s ranking.

Stefan Moody
Ole Miss
JUCO Ranking: 12th

This Ole Miss talent did some serious work against Florida, even though his teams weren’t amazing.

2015

Chris Boucher
Oregon
JUCO Ranking: 3rd

Boucher, like Allen, was a player that wasn’t a d-1 bounce-back but still was dominant in JUCO. He had two tremendous years at Oregon and the way he dominated defensively showed how the transition actually works and bigs can adjust a lot easier than I feel like a lot of people think.

Vladimir Brodziansky
TCU
JUCO Ranking: 20th

I’m especially interested by the frontcourt players that make the leap from JUCO to D-1 and Brodziansky is a great example of how well bigs can translate. He was a really good player for the Horned Frogs and was third-team All-Big 12 in his final year.

Justin Leon
Florida
JUCO Ranking: 25th

Since Leon was so successful with the Gators it’s good to note his 25th ranking as a bit of a benchmark for what JUCO transfers can contribute. Did he overplay the 25th ranking? Yes, I think he was probably better than that ranking indicated but still, this should show just how good JUCO talent really is.

Rob Gray
Houston
JUCO Ranking: 47th

Two-time first-team All-AAC and one of the best guards in college basketball as a senior, the fact he was 47th in the rankings shows the depth of talent there is.

2016

There’s a bunch from this year and a handful we know from the SEC, so I’m just going to rattle them all off and you can see all the players you recognize.

Jaylen Barford
Arkansas
JUCO Ranking: 1st

Kavell Bigby-Williams
Oregon (than LSU)
JUCO Ranking: 3rd

Daryl Macon
Arkansas
JUCO Ranking: 5th

Ar’Mond Davis
Alabama
JUCO Ranking: 8th

Duop Reath
LSU
JUCO Ranking: 11th

Nuni Omot
Baylor
JUCO Ranking: 13th

PJ Savoy
Florida State
JUCO Ranking: 15th

2017

Corey Davis
Houston
JUCO Ranking: 18th

Another Houston All-AAC find that was one of the most electric guards in college basketball last season.

2018

Malik Dunbar
Auburn
JUCO Ranking: 47th

Key piece of Auburn’s rotation in their tremendous season last year.

Devonte Bandoo
Baylor
JUCO Ranking: 11th

A major player in Baylor’s surprising season that saw them win a lot more games than people would have expected.

Kylor Kelley
Oregon State
JUCO Ranking: 28th

Kelley finished second in blocked shots last season with a ridiculous 3.4 swats per game.

Are there some players ranked highly that don’t work out? Yes there are, just like there are 5-star and 4-star players out of high school that don’t work out. Looking through the rankings it showed that there are a lot of JUCO talents that pan out and there shouldn’t be hesitation in taking a quality JUCO player. Something that also struck me as I was going through the rankings is that a lot of the highly rated players that don’t work out are guards, especially smaller guards, but when it comes to big men they really seem to translate better. If the Gators were looking at a small scoring guard from the JUCO ranks I’d be scared, but with a 6’9” athlete like Allen I’m quite confident he’s going to be a solid high major performer at whatever school he chooses.

With the Arizona State offer I’m not sure Allen is going to sit around and wait on the Gators. The staff is in a touch position waiting on Blackshear but if they miss out on him and Blackshear we could look back at this offseason and see a mistake.

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