Here at RidiculousUpside.com, we've already begun to highlight some of the more promising prospects that slipped through the cracks and saw themselves go undrafted on Thursday night.
From here, the real journey will begin for those young guns as they attempt to prove their worth through Summer League sessions and/or training camp this coming fall. One player hoping for a chance to do just that could be Western Washington's stud point guard John Allen.
The D-II prospect is the essence of a prospect truly "flying under the radar". Despite multiple successful seasons (one highlighted by national title in the2011-12 season) and being named the school's Co-Male Athlete of the Year (in the 2012-13 season), Allen is so unknown that he doesn't even have a profile on Draft Express yet.
Perhaps it's because of his small school status, but that only makes you wonder if Allen is actually talented enough to make it on to a NBA/D-League roster. Is he just another small school prospect that will eventually fade away like hundreds of men in the past?
Last season, Allen's Western Washington Vikings faced off against the much more heralded Washington Huskies. After spending an ungodly amount of hours watching and editing clips from that contest, here's my analysis.
John Allen PnR Drive (via Dakota Schmidt)
19:00: Our subject starts out the game by working off an Austin Bragg (Western Washington power forward) screen as he works his way to the rim. While Allen doesn't seem like the quickest player, he uses a solid first-step to stay ahead of his defender as he drives to the basket. Washington was easily able to collapse the paint and put a hand in Allen's face to force a rough layup.
John Allen Defense and Transition (via Dakota Schmidt)
18:15: As Washington starting point guard Abdul Gaddy tries to work his way to the rim for an easy layup, Allen does a good job in blocking his path to the basket. The right-handed Gaddy attempts to go to that side of the court, but Allen remains in front of him for the entire play, leading to a Huskies turnover. After receiving the quick pass from the rebounder, Allen quickly moves his way up the court where he delivers a one-handed bounce pass to Richard Woodworth (#14). Woodworth makes a quick delivery to the cutting Austin Bragg, who finishes the play with a two-handed flush.
John Allen Spot Up Three (via Dakota Schmidt)
17:45: Finishing his Western Washington career shooting nearly 40% from beyond the arc, Allen proved to be a lethal perimeter threat like on the above play. After working with his screener (Chris Mitchell), Allen decides to hang around the three point line to put up and hit the shot. On the shot, he shows off his solid and quick release, which should work well against some of the bigger guards he meets at the pro level.
John Allen Caught Up in Screen (via Dakota Schmidt)
14:30: Four minutes prior, Allen showed off his abilities as a solid on-ball defender by closing down the right side of the paint from a driving Abdul Gaddy. The scenario changes on this possession as Gaddy is able to beat Allen to the basket by working around the designated screen. While Gaddy was able to make a clean break, Allen failed to work his way around the screener.
John Allen Transition II (via Dakota Schmidt)
10:05: Another solid example of Allen's work in transition. On this possession, the point guard moves his way up the court and into the paint where he finds a teammate who's also cutting to the basket. Despite the teammate not making his contested layup, Allen showed solid court vision with the way he spotted his teammate as he was moving inside the paint.
John Allen Penetrating Floater (via Dakota Schmidt)
4:40: While he isn't the fastest or most athletic player, Allen uses his quick first step to get around the opposition as he penetrates his way to the paint. While Allen is driving, he stops on a dime to shake up his opponent, which gives him enough time to throw up a floater from inside the free-throw line. This move may be less effective against bigger and more athletic guards in the pros, but it's still nice to see that he has a wide array of offensive weapons that he has at his disposal.
Half ending 3 (via Dakota Schmidt)
0:45: With his Western Washington Vikings down by 12, Allen takes advantage of a solid screen to give himself enough room around the perimeter where he can launch up a comfortable three point shot to put his team within single digits.
Allen SG (via Dakota Schmidt)
Off-Ball Movement (via Dakota Schmidt)
19:20 and 3:25: In an interesting move, Tony Dominguez moves Allen over to shooting guard despite his 6'1 frame. Allen appears to make a smooth transition to the new position as he works off-ball and around screens very comfortably. After recieving the ball, Allen works his way from the corner to the right baseline, where he takes the jumper from right inside the three point line. While the shot selection wasn't ideal, it was still nice to see that he has the ability to move around the court when he's not handling the ball.
High Pressue D (via Dakota Schmidt)
18:10: Up-tempo and high pressure defense is a staple in the world of college basketball as seen here with Allen defending his opponent. The Western Washington point guard got a bit over zealous with his actions as he got charged with a reach-in foul.
Cross Court Action (via Dakota Schmidt)
Penetrate and Kick (via Dakota Schmidt)
10:27 and 7:50: While working and penetrating his way to the paint, Allen uses his court vision to kick it out to the open perimeter shooters. In both of these clips, he's able to make risky cross court passes that go right into the hands of the given target. The ability to penetrate and kick it out to an open shooter is becoming a necessity in the NBA/D-League, so Allen has a strong possibility of making that smooth transition to the pro game.
Defensive Close Out (via Dakota Schmidt)
5:15: With Washington moving the ball from the paint to the perimeter, our subject recognizes the open shooter and closes out as he's putting up his three-point shot attempt. As you may be able to see at the start of the clip, Allen was protecting the eventual shooter (CJ Wilcox) around the paint until Wilcox and ther other Huskie forward switched off with the forward setting a light screen on Allen. The 6'1 point guard was able to work around the forward just in time to put a hand in the face of Wilcox.
While John Allen won't blow anybody away with quickness or athleticism, he's still a pretty solid potential D-League prospect. His NBA future looks bleak, because it's pretty rare that you see a D-II prospect make it into the league, but he still has a good amount of potential as he makes the transition to pro basketball.
From the game tape above, Allen appears to have good defensive instincts, but his average quickness and 6'1 frame will most likely hurt him when he's going against more talented and quicker guards. That said, he can still have a solid D-League/overseas career because of his perimeter shooting and passing abilites.
During the NBA Draft workout season, Allen has showed off his abilities with Portland, Utah and Denver. While it isn't likely for Allen to make that immediate leap on to an NBA roster, he can be added to a Summer League roster, where any number of those teams can get a better idea on how he competes against some of the best young prospects in the world.
Another solid possibility for Allen would be for Portland to sign him to their training camp roster and then move him up to Idaho to play with the Stampede.
The Trailblazers orgainization could use that opportunity to get a better read on the 23 year old point guard to see how he performs and progresses against the D-League competition. Of course, the move to Boise, Idaho would also be perfect for a Washington native like John Allen.