Texas forward Jarrett Allen (31) comes down with an offensive rebound in front of Baylor's Al Freeman (25) in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Men's Basketball

Jarrett Allen: ‘I am testing the waters with this decision’ to go into the NBA draft

Allen will not sign with an agent, preserving his amateur status should he ultimately decide to come back

Posted March 21st, 2017

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Jarrett Allen doesn’t sound like someone who wants to leave Texas. But the analytical deep thinker probably can’t see himself passing up a major payday, either.

The 6-foot-11 freshman confirmed Tuesday he will put his name into the upcoming NBA draft but will not sign with an agent, thereby preserving his amateur status should he decide to come back to school.

“I want everyone to know that I am testing the waters with this decision, but I will not be signing with an agent,” Allen said in a statement issued by UT. “Going through this process will allow my family and I to make the best decision possible for my future.

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Texas forward Jarrett Allen (31) dunks the ball over West Virginia forward Sagaba Konate (50) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Monday, Feb. 20, 2017, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson)

“I had a fantastic year personally here at Texas,” Allen continued. “I had fun and learned so much. I learned that things are going to be tougher than you think, but you have to learn how to respond to adversity. And I’ve matured a lot as a person.”

Allen’s parents, Leonard and Cheryl, did not respond to interview requests from the American-Statesman. CBS Sports first reported on Tuesday that Allen was going into the draft.

This is the same path former Texas guard Isaiah Taylor took last April. But after just a few private workouts for NBA teams, Taylor went all in, signing with an agent and never looking back.

Taylor went undrafted but recently signed a multi-year, non-guaranteed deal with the Houston Rockets. Allen is in a far different situation, though. Players his size are rare, and Allen averaged a team-high 16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds in Big 12 play.

This decision wasn’t a total surprise. The NCAA has tweaked the rules specifically to allow players to go through the NBA scouting combine and pre-draft process to see where they stand.

Inside the Texas program, coaches and players weren’t really sure which way Allen was leaning. Coaches believed he was inclined to return. Two players told the American-Statesman in early March that Allen said he would “cut his hair and let it grow back next year” — perhaps some implication he wanted to return.

The St. Stephen’s product averaged 13.4 points and 8.4 points last season in 33 games overall. He showed tremendous improvement month after month.

His best game of the year came against Kansas’ potential NBA lottery pick Josh Jackson. Allen had 22 points and 19 rebounds in 34 minutes in a 12-point loss at Allen Fieldhouse.

After the season ended at the Big 12 tournament, Allen said of his decision, “Whatever’s best for my future. Staying might benefit me and leaving might benefit me. I’m going to go home and talk to my family and see what I can do.”

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

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