University of Missouri

Coach Kim Anderson’s first recruit, small forward D’Angelo Allen, commits to MU basketball

New Missouri coach Kim Anderson landed his first new recruit for the 2014-15 season when D’Angelo Allen, a small forward from Dallas, committed to the Tigers.

Allen’s AAU coach, Erven Davis of Dallas Showtyme Elite, confirmed that the versatile 6-foot-6 standout from Kimball High School in Dallas committed to Missouri during a weekend visit to Columbia.

“D’Angelo’s probably one of the best uncommitted prospects that’s out there right now,” Davis said. “He and his mother really enjoyed the visit. He was telling me, even when he’d only been there a few hours, how much he was enjoying it.”

Davis said Tigers assistant coach Tim Fuller had been recruiting Allen for a while and that connection helped sway Allen’s decision.

Allen also hit it off with Anderson during the weekend visit, cementing a commitment to Missouri.

“It’s an SEC program … and he has a chance to come in and make an impact as a freshman,” Davis said. “He can guard any perimeter position and he’s an adept ball-handler, so I think he’ll be able to play anywhere from the two to the four, depending on what’s needed.”

Davis compared Allen’s game to Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen from the standpoint of versatility and all-around impact.

“He’s a Scottie Pippen-type, a stat stuffer,” Davis said. “He can score, he can defend, he’s totally unselfish in his approach to the game. He can handle it, he can shoot the ball and has a good mid-range game. He can shoot some three-pointers.

“There’s really nothing he can’t do. He’s a young kid, just turned 17 recently, and the sky’s the limit for him. I think he’s going to be an impact player. I don’t think he’s just going to be good. He’ll be one of the ones we’re talking about one day.”

The Tigers have at least two remaining scholarships to fill next season after guards Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown left early for the NBA and transfer forward Zach Price was kicked off the team.

Allen fills one of those three openings, and State Fair Community College guard Kevin Punter, a junior college All-American who averaged 20.3 points last season, remains a possibility.

He committed to Missouri before former coach Frank Haith left last month and has since de-committed, but Punter is believed to be choosing between Missouri and Tennessee, where he visited this weekend.

Missouri convinced Jakeenan Gant, a 6-foot-8 power forward from Effingham County (Ga.) High School, to stay after Anderson was hired to replace Haith. He signed with the Tigers in November.

Pacific Hills shooting guard Namon Wright from Los Angeles, who also signed early with Missouri, has asked to be released from his national letter of intent, his high school coach Ivan Barahona told the Los Angeles Times on Saturday.

Wright will meet with Anderson on Tuesday, so it’s possible the 6-foot-5 shooting guard could still play for the Tigers, but, if he decides to explore other options, Missouri would have three open scholarships again.

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