AUSTIN, Texas -- Not in his senior year and certainly not in the state semifinals. Senior D'Angelo Allen wasn't going to let Dallas Kimball's season end without making the state championship game for the fourth time his career.
Playing against an inspired Beaumont Central team on the floor of the Frank Erwin Center, Allen and his teammates were
struggling offensively. With the offensive miscues, the 6-foot-6 small forward and three-star prospect took things over defensively. Late in the game Allen forced a five-second call and recorded two of his five blocks when it mattered most -- including a final seconds block of a Central shot in the lane that could have tied the game.
"That could have been my ticket home right there," Allen told Rivals.com shortly after Kimball's 58-56 win. "Since I was a freshman I always came down here with good players and now it's my time. We never lost in the semifinal game and have always gotten to the championship game so I had to dig down real hard."
To go along with his five blocks, Allen also had 11 points and six rebounds in the Class 4A semifinal. On the eve of competing for another state title (Kimball won in 2011 and 2012 before finishing as runner-ups in 2013) Allen is glad that he decided to wait until the spring to pick his college destination.
"It's been going great," said Allen of his senior season. "Ever since my play from the summer it has been improving and colleges have been coming. I've been shocked because I've been working on my game and my shot and it's good to see it. When I go to the next level I'm going to have to play the two and three so I've been getting my legs and my defense and my shot right."
Among the programs that Allen says are showing interest are Oklahoma (who watched him Thursday), Auburn, Minnesota, Georgia Tech, Missouri and UTEP. The senior is very open to leaving his home state but has recruiting thoughts on the back burner.
"You know I've been in Texas a while now and it might be time to leave," said Allen. "I'm thinking about getting that state title first. I'll think about schools after that."
When his season does end after this weekend, Allen does at least have three programs that are standing out to him.
"Probably Georgia Tech, Minnesota and Oklahoma," said Allen of who he would most like to visit. "Ever since I was young I've watched all three of them. At Oklahoma my homey Cameron Clark who I've known from a while back, he tells me it is a good school. With Georgia Tech I'm just waiting for the visit."
When he does pick a school, input from Allen's family will be very important. He wants to get a good four year education, develop on the floor and possibly find a place where his family could follow him and get a new start away from Dallas.
"I'm trying to go to college all four years so I'm looking for where I can go to school, get playing time and bring my mother and brother with me," said Allen. "I don't want to get caught up in any bullcrap or anything like that. I want to get my head straight and keep it going and get to the next level and maybe the next next level."
Eric Bossi is the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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