Incoming Arizona Wildcats guard Kadeem Allen was named a NJCAA all-American for the second straight season today, the first player in the history of perennial power Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College to earn the junior college honor twice.
Allen, who is also a strong contender to receive the NJCAA Player of the Year award, averaged 25.9 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.9 assists for the Blue Dragons, who went 26-8.
“He carried us,” Hutchinson assistant coach Jay Cyriac said. “He just proved he was one of the best players in the country. As the season went on he improved and he was like Steady Eddie – we knew we were going to get 25 points, and that he was going to rebound and pass the ball.
“We got used to it. His high school coach said, `are you ready to live without Kadeem Allen?’ I said, `No.’ “
Allen played a lot of point guard out of necessity as a freshman in 2012-13 but was mostly a shooting guard this season, Cyriac said. His shooting was probably his biggest improvement, Cyriac said, even as opponents tried to use the box-and-one against him or deny him the ball.
Allen shot 45.7 percent overall from the field and 30.5 percent from three-point range.
Shooting "was the one area that was a weakness as a freshman,” Cyriac said. “He just matured and fine-tuned it.”
McKale will be closed for renovations from Saturday through mid-November, according to Arizona AD Greg Byrne, due to renovations that were formally approved this week.
The upper outside concourses and bowl area will be closed but there will still be access to offices through the south doors.
Michigan, which will visit McKale Center next season, is in the same boat as Arizona while waiting for its key players to finalize decisions about their futures. There's uncertainty about Nik Stauskas, though he is expected to declare.
UA finished fifth in ESPN's power rankings.
Pac-12 Networks analyst Don MacLean says Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could be a breakout player next season (assuming he returns) while also being bullish on Stanford.
Ernie Kent made the media rounds in Spokane.
Joe Lunardi gives UA a 40-percent chance of landing a No. 1 seed next season.
Cal may be having a hard time landing the coach it wants.
Colorado named Josh Scott its MVP during an awards banquet.
A little OT, but the New York Times writes of Sioux Falls, a D-League franchise (with former UA big man Sean Rooks as assistant coach) that has firmly aligned with the Miami Heat. (thanks Bob for the link).