By LARRY VAUGHT
For over two years Steve Quattrocchi has been telling anyone who would listen that Pendleton County wing Dontaie Allen was a top 100 talent in the 2019 recruiting class.
Now everyone is suddenly starting to believe based on the scholarship offers coming in for the 6-6 Allen, one of the top contenders for Kentucky Mr. Basketball honors this season.
During AAU play in Georgia last week, he got scholarship offers from Auburn and Florida along with ones from Oklahoma, Illinois, Pittsburgh, Iowa State and St. Louis. He already had offers from others such as Western Kentucky, Xavier, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Purdue and Vanderbilt. Then on Sunday he added one from Louisville.
“I have known Dontaie since he was 15,” said Quattrocchi, director of M.A.T.T.S. Mustangs. “I have been telling coaches about his talent and that he’s potentially a future pro. He is so skilled and has such great size and length for the guard position. He’s not an outstanding athlete, but he can make up for it in a lot of ways.
“Two years ago he was not a great shooter but now if he misses a shot from anywhere on the floor, I am surprised. At 15, he was a driver but he has worked his butt off to get where he is now and has earned everything he is getting.”
Allen’s play was so good in Georgia in front of numerous big-time coaches that he was actually trending on Twitter Friday one day after Kentucky coach John Calipari saw him play in person for the first time.
“That’s the power of BBN,” Quattrocchi said.
Allen made an unofficial visit to UK in early June when Calipari was not on campus. Assistant coach Joel Justus has been the main contact with Allen and spent time texting with Allen’s mother last weekend.
“It doesn’t surprise me he doesn’t have a UK offer yet,” Quattrocchi said. “They have been recruiting him but Cal had not seen him play. I think ultimately an offer could come and should come. But if it does it will be because he earned it and not just because he is a Kentucky kid. I am a UK alum and have been a fan my whole life. I would never steer a kid anywhere, but it would be cool to have one of my kids play there.
“He is a really good finisher, especially through contact. He’s good at using his off arm to create space to finish. He can get by people with a two-dribble move and get to the rim. He has a super high basketball IQ. There really is not anything he does not do well.”
Some of the nation’s top coaches got to see that last week and will again when Allen’s team plays in Orlando and then Louisville later this month in other AAU events.
“He’s got plenty of chances to be seen against really good competition still,” Quattrocchi said. “I think he is going to keep cementing the attention he’s been getting and even earn a bigger reputation. Pendleton County is a small school but you don’t penalize a kid for being loyal to where he is from (rather than going to a prep school or bigger high school).
“He is just a super level headed kid. A little bit of an introvert, but other kids love to play with him. He’s really funny. He’s just quiet. But he wants to be the guy to take the big shot. More than anything, though, he just loves the game of basketball. He came and watched our under 16 team play and just sat on the bench and watched. Other kids go party, he goes to the gym and the work is paying off for him.”
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