Friday, November 23, 2012

Meet Tavon Allen

The Drexel Dragons entered the 2012-13 season as the favorite in the now VCU-less Colonial. Drexel was snubbed of an at-large bid last season by the selection committee and returned the majority of their team, including go to guy Frantz Massenat. However, the start of 2012 has not been smooth sailing for Drexel. Chris Fouch sustained a season ending injury, while another guard Damion Lee has also been banged up.

Enter Tavon Allen, a 6'7" redshirt freshman wing. Allen made his debut at UPenn, scoring 15 points on 5-9 shooting. In Drexel's opening round game against St. Mary's at the DirecTV Classic, Allen got the start because of the injuries. Allen went for 16 more points in that game in his 30 minutes of playing time.

Tavon Allen is not your average wing. What makes him unique is his ambidexterity. No, not ambidextrous like a John Wall type player (shoots with his right hand but likes to dunk/finish with his left). Allen actually shoots with both hands. In fact, Allen shoots threes with his left hand and twos with his right hand. Below are the 10 field goals Allen took against St. Mary's on Thursday:

Neither of Allen's jump shots have textbook form, but that hasn't stopped him from getting good results on the season. Through the St. Mary's game**, Allen is 4-7 from three, 5-12 from two, and 9-10 from the foul line. Allen's lefty shot is a set shot that takes some time to load. However, Allen off the dribble took righty jump shots with a much quicker release.

What Allen is doing is nothing short of amazing. Many college basketball players struggle enough shooting with one hand (Nerlens Noel 12-23 from the foul line), but Allen has showed thus far he can be decently efficient with both. Going forward, I am very curious to see if Allen ever uses his left hand from two off the dribble or his right hand from deep. At first this might seem like a complicated decision Allen has to make, but is it really any different than deciding what hand to finish a layup with? If Allen is truly confident in both, why not use the hand that best avoids the defender?

**Friday against Xavier, Allen continued to shoot the ball well going 3-4 from three, 1-2 from two, and 2-2 from the foul line.