Today’s NBA Draft Blog Scouting Report looks at a player who has been considered a disappointment in terms of draft stock by many, but still has the potential to find a place in the NBA – Temple forward Lavoy Allen. Allen, who recently became the school’s all-time leading rebounder, has been a solid defender for 4 seasons as a starter for the Owls and over the last year and a half, has worked hard to make his offensive game more diverse. Has it been enough to play his way into this year’s draft? Let’s take a look at Lavoy Allen:
Forward- 6’9, 225
10.9 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.7 bpg, 48.1% FG, 66.7% FT
Post Skills- Allen is not really a classic post player, he has decent size but very little bulk, and in his senior year has spent even less time looking for touches in the post. When he does look to get position in the post, he does a good job getting low and using his body to keep the defender on his back. Once he receives the ball, he has excellent vision of the court and sees cutters to the basket very well. His touch around the rim is average, but he needs to work harder at getting shots closer to the rim instead of settling for fade-away jumpers. He has shown that he can hit the short hook with either hand, but most of his moves will always be over his left shoulder. This season he had added a face-up move out of the post, but he has yet to show that he can consistently hit the short jumper or take his man off the dribble – he is though a dangerous passer once he faces up to the rim. He is good when he plays out of the high post, again using his vision to hit cutters, but he needs to be become more of a threat with the foul line jumper.
Footwork- The best way to describe Allen’s footwork is “average.” There is nothing very good about it, but it is not so bad that you really notice it. He has good foot speed for his size, but his movements come off as very deliberate, to the point of seeming mechanical, especially in the post. With his length, he would be served well if he learned a quick drop step move out of the post into the lane. On the perimeter he moves well, getting out to screen well, and making good cuts to the rim.
Ballhandling/Hands/Penetration- Allen needs to get better control over his ball handling, though he does use both hands well. His main problem is that he keeps his dribble too high and too far from his body to protect the ball well. He has very good hands, and controls passes well, while also making sure he sets a good target for his teammates to hit him. Working out on the perimeter has become more of a focus for him this season, though the results have been mixed at best. He does have the ability to beat some defenders off the dribble, but his handle is not good enough to always get him to the rim. He is very good at drawing defenders to him and hitting open teammates off the dribble. When he does get to the rim, he needs to do a better job of being able to finish when he gets hit, and look to finish strong more often.
Perimeter Shooting- While his range has improved and his form is good, Allen is just not consistent enough outside of 10 feet to be any kind of real threat. He does need to improve the quickness of his release, as he is very good at getting good looks off of pick and pops and pick and fades.
Rebounding/Passing- Allen is an excellent offensive rebounder, with a knack for anticipating where misses will go, getting to the spot quickly and using his length to get the ball without fouling the defender. If he could put misses back quickly and efficiently, he would probably add 6 points or so per game to his average, but he seems to lack the aggressiveness to go back strong. He is also a very good passer for his size, seeing the floor very well, looking for cutters and making strong passes.
Free Throw Shooting – Allen is just an average free throw shooter, but worse than that, he doesn’t get to the line near enough as someone who gets as many touches as he does should. Around the rim, he is just not aggressive enough when in scoring position to draw contact.
Post Defense- Allen does a very good job defending the post, especially against larger players. He uses his body well to keep the offensive player from backing him down, keeps his arms extended to force difficult shots, and has very good balance. He would need to add 20 pounds or so to have the same effect at the NBA level, but he has very good instincts and can provide minutes if needed. He needs to be quicker reacting and rotating in help situations, as he tends to lose focus of where the ball is when his man doesn’t have it. He does a good job hedging on the pick and roll, but he needs to be quicker recovering to his man.
Perimeter Defense- Allen has not done a great job adjusting to guarding on the perimeter, and he gets caught in bad mismatches off of switches. He needs to do a better job helping his teammate get through a screen, as well as a better job recognizing when he is left guarding a quicker man and adjust accordingly. Off the ball, he needs to do a better job keeping his eye on the man and the ball, while not getting caught overplaying his man. He does do a good job getting is arms into passing lanes and he closes on shooters very well, but he needs to work on not falling for shot fakes.
Rebounding/Blocking- As on the offensive end, Allen is a very good defensive rebounder, doing a great job boxing out his man and going strong after the ball. It is impressive to watch him get up high to get the rebound and keep the ball up. He could do a better job of looking upcourt for the outlet pass. He could be a very good shot blocker, but he seems to lack the aggression that good shot blockers have. This keeps him out of foul trouble, but he could be much more of a difference maker if he went after the ball more often. When he does look to block, he has good timing and does a good
job extending to get to tough shots.
Summary & Intangibles
Athleticism – Above Average
BB IQ – Above Average
From reading all of the above, it might be easy to get the impression that Allen is not a potential pick, but there seems to be a lot of untapped potential here that could be worth a risk. He is too small to be a 4 at the NBA level and hasn’t played enough at the 3 to be a real option, but he could develop the ability to defend both of these positions at the next level. He will most likely never be an offensive threat, but he could develop enough that you can’t leave him open. It’s his rebounding and ability to see the whole floor well on offense that could get him some minutes if he puts the work in developing other parts of his game. I could see a team giving him a chance in the 2nd half of the 2nd round if he workouts well and shows teams all of the little things he does on the court to make a team better.
Tomorrow we will take a look at a player who played his way into draft talks last weekend with a very big performance against