By Steve Lansdale
AUSTIN, Texas — When he chose to stay home in Austin and play for the University of Texas, over offers from some of college basketball’s elite programs like Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina, Indiana, SMU and Oregon, there were those who speculated from the start that Allen would wear a UT uniform for just one season before jumping into the 2017 NBA Draft.
As it turns out, those predictions were correct … sort of.
After a freshman season in which he ranked second on the team in scoring with an average of 13.4 points per game and led the team in rebounding (8.4 per game), blocked shots (51) and playing time (32.1 minutes per game), Allen announced Tuesday that he is, in fact, submitting his name for the draft … but with a catch: he won’t sign with an agent, leaving open the door to return to UT next year.
"I want everyone to know that I am testing the waters with this decision, but I will not be signing with an agent," Allen said. "Going through this process will allow my family and (me) to make the best decision possible for my future.
"I had a fantastic year personally here at Texas. I had fun and learned so much. I learned that things are going to be tougher than you think, but you have to learn how to respond to adversity, and I've matured a lot as a person."
In his debut — and perhaps only — season at UT, Allen posted 12 double-doubles, tying him for the third-highest total by any freshman in Texas history. His 278 rebounds were the fourth-highest total by a UT freshman.
For his efforts, Allen was named third-team All-Big 12 and was claimed a spot on the conference’s All-Newcomer team. He also was included on the 10-person United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-District VII Team.