Sports

Five-star junior guard Allen commits to LSU

Top-15 junior Marvel Allen announced his commitment to LSU men’s basketball on Friday night, giving Tigers coach Will Wade his sixth straight recruiting class with a five-star prospect.

Allen chose the Tigers over a top eight that also included Alabama, Arizona State, Georgia, Kansas, Memphis, Maryland and Ohio State.

“By doing it early I can prepare myself for their system and what coach Wade expects,” Allen told ESPN. “They fit into my playing style. They’re guard-focused and I like their defensive intensity. It fits me.”

Wade played a key role in LSU landing Allen.

“Coach Wade gets on his players and I like that,” Allen said. “I am the type of player who needs to know what I need to do better. I am ok with constructive criticism. It helps me become a better player. I like the way Coach Wade keeps his composure in tough times during the game and how he supports his players.”

A 6-foot-3 shooting guard from Calvary Christian Academy (Florida), Allen is ranked No. 14 in the ESPN 60 for 2023. He’s the No. 3 shooting guard in the class.

Allen’s stock and ranking has risen steadily over the last couple of years.

“When I first started there were times I wanted to quit playing,” Allen said. “I always worked at basketball since I started playing, but I did not start out well when I was little. My dad never gave up on me. He told me the only way to handle adversity is to overcome it by how you react to it.”

Allen’s game is to score the ball with energy, especially on the fast break. He’s capable from beyond the arc, but he is at his best in the mid-range and finishing his drives. He is a mismatch against small guards as he utilizes his size and strength to drive into the paint and draw contact.

Wade and LSU have now landed a five-star recruit in every recruiting class dating back to 2018, after his first season in Baton Rouge. Naz Reid and Emmitt Williams started the trend in 2018, followed by Trendon Watford, Cam Thomas, Efton Reid and Julian Phillips.

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