Ryan Thomson takes a closer look at Texas Center Jarrett Allen's performances against Kansas on January 21 and February 25.
The 6'11 freshman had two of his best games at the college level against a Final Four caliber team, finishing with a very strong 42 points, 30 rebounds, 6 turnovers and 4 blocks in 69 minutes, shooting 17-27 from the field and 8-13 from the free throw line.
At 6'11 with a 7'5 1/2 wingspan, Allen is a major presence on the offensive glass and as a finisher inside the paint, where he can play above the rim from long vantage points thanks to his impressive physical tools. He shows flashes of potential protecting the rim and rebounding outside of his area, and his jump-hook can be developed into a real weapon in time thanks to his high release point and soft touch around the basket. While raw and still underdeveloped, his skill-level is relatively high for a player his size, as he can attack in a straight line from the high post, or even make mid-range jumpers at times, despite his extreme struggles from the free throw line (55%).
As the season has moved on, Allen has done a better job of recognizing double teams and finding shooters spotting up on the weakside. The lack of shooting and floor balance for Texas has hampered him, as the team lacks much in the way of real wings or forwards that can provide him with more room to operate inside, being one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in college basketball.
The fact that Allen doesn't consistently play with a great motor frustrates scouts at times, as he tends to avoid contact and doesn't always bring the same level of toughness and focus from game to game or possession to possession they would like to see. His defensive rebounding numbers have been fairly poor, as his awareness is not great at this stage, and he tends to give up deep post position to stronger players.
Playing a lot of power forward, Allen has struggled at times on the perimeter against face-up players who have a quickness advantage. He can use his length to challenge shots around the rim, but has a ways to go in terms of his fundamentals and experience on this end. It's likely that Allen will play far more as a center in the NBA.
Allen is having an inconsistent, but at times brilliant, season, mixing in some very impressive performances like this game with strong outings against TCU, West Virginia and Baylor to show NBA scouts the extent of his upside. Still, he's also struggled in many games, such as against Northwestern, Oklahoma, Georgia, Michigan and Iowa State, combining to shoot 15 of 42 from the field with 4 assists and 23 turnovers in those five contests. 17.2 10.7 1.9 59%, 3.3 TO, 55% FT
On the season, Allen is still having a strong freshman year, as he's posting 17 points and nearly 11 rebounds and 2 blocks per-40, shooting 59% from 2-point range. He continues to struggle to make free throws though, as he's shooting just 55% from the line while turning it over 3.3 times per-40 compared with just one assist. He had an outstanding February and seems to be on an upward trajectory after struggling a bit at the start of conference play.
Texas is in the midst of a disappointing season, at just 10-19 thus far, and 4-12 in Big 12 play.
Ryan Thomson is a video analyst for DraftExpress. Follow him on twitter and check out his DraftExpress Video Archive. He will be breaking down the NBA draft in digital format all year long for us.