After convincing Jervay Green to stick with his commitment to Nebraska last year, Fred Hoiberg and his staff went back to the Western Nebraska Community College well this year and landed a commitment from sophomore Teddy Allen.
The big-bodied, bucket-getting guard took a visit to Nebraska over the weekend, taking in the Huskers’ 70-56 win over Purdue on Sunday. He announced his commitment on Twitter on Tuesday.
“I just had a sit-down with Coach Hoiberg,” Allen told Hail Varsity. “The stuff he was talking about, where the program is at right now with him taking the job and everything, it just felt like both sides could really benefit from it. I just figured that that was probably right.”
Allen, who made stops at West Virginia and Wichita State before landing at Western Nebraska, said he first heard from he Huskers in August or September.
“Matt [Abdelmassih] reached out to me just to see how I was doing, and then they came to see me when recruiting opened up and it kind of just went from there,” Allen said.
Allen, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound guard, is averaging 32.0 points, 1.9 assists and 1.4 steals while shooting 54.1% from the field, 42.5% from 3 and 89.6% from the free-throw line. He’s leading junior college in scoring for the 9-5 Cougars and will have two seasons of eligibility at Nebraska.
Allen is a physical guard who powers his way to the basket and has a soft touch as well, which is what earned him the nickname Teddy Buckets in high school. He got a chance to see how Hoiberg’s Huskers play on Sunday and said Nebraska is a great fit for his playing style.
“I see myself fitting in great because I play hard and I compete and Coach Hoiberg seems like the type that that’s really what he wants,” Allen said. “He tries to make his players feel confident and that’s something I don’t lack. I just feel like in his system, if I just play hard like I do, everything will take care of itself.”
Coaches! Check out the Leading Scorer in the Country, Teddy Allen's first semester highlights:
Averaging 32 ppg on 54.1% FG, 42.5% 3pt, 7.2 rpg
— Billy Engel (@billyengel) December 12, 2019
Allen shot 3-of-25 from 3 in 35 games as a freshman at West Virginia, but he’s up over e40% on 6.6 attempts per game this season at Western Nebraska.
“I could shoot the ball at a high clip coming out of high school, I just really wasn’t given the confidence to do that over there,” Allen said. “It just wasn’t my role to shoot 3s so I got away from it. But over the last year, just staying in the gym, working, I got my shot back.”
Allen is originally from Mesa, Arizona, but spent his junior and senior years of high school at Boys Town in Omaha. He was the 2017 Gatorade Boys Player of the Year after putting up 31.6 points, 13.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists 3.2 steals and 1.4 blocks per game as a senior for the Cowboys.
He blew up on the AAU circuit playing for the Omaha Sports Academy Crusaders the summer before his senior year and received a flurry of scholarship offers, ultimately landing at West Virginia. As a freshman, Allen gave the Mountaineers an offensive spark off the bench, averaging 7.0 points and 2.7 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per game while shooting 46.7% from the field.
After the season, however, he transferred to Wichita State. Allen’s mom died while he was at Boys Town, and in his two year in Omaha he developed a strong support system. Allen wanted to move closer to the city that had become home for him, but the NCAA denied his waiver request and he sat out the 2018-19 season. For an in-depth look at Allen’s background, subscribers to The Athletic can read CJ Moore’s profile of him here.
He never played a game for the Shockers. Allen was dismissed from the university in June after he was arrested and charged with two misdemeanors after an incident at a woman’s home. He landed at Western Nebraska and has been tearing up the junior college ranks under Coach Cory Fehringer.
“I just feel grateful and blessed just to be able to play basketball at any level,” Allen said. “It’s just fun just to hoop, man. Everybody who knows me, I’m just a hooper, I just love hoop. It’s just been great to be back out there.”
Now, with his commitment to Nebraska, Allen will be able to play at the highest level while still having those important to him close.
“It’s honestly everything I could have ever imagined,” Allen said. “On a college level, being at a high level, a high-major program and still being pretty much home, you really can’t beat that. The best times of my life have been in Nebraska, so that’s why I want to be here.”
Allen joins Lincoln North Star guard Donovan Williams as commitments for Nebraska’s 2020 class. The Huskers have one scholarship remaining following freshman guard Samari Curtis’ decision to transfer out of the program.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.