With four seniors playing their final season for Baylor, coach Scott Drew gained some experience for next year’s team with Thursday’s verbal commitment by Palm Beach State College sophomore Darius Allen.
Allen is a 6-4 wing who averaged 10.2 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 56.5 percent from the field as a freshman last season for a loaded Palm Beach team that finished 25-6.
Palm Beach coach Martin McCann said Allen chose Baylor after developing a close relationship with Bears assistant coach Alvin Brooks III.
“Baylor feels at home for Darius and he’s created a strong relationship with Coach Brooks,” McCann said. “He really enjoyed getting to know some of their players.”
McCann believes Allen will bring a variety of skills to the table for the Bears next season. Allen is a second-team preseason junior college All-American pick by Street and Smith’s magazine who chose Baylor over schools like West Virginia, Iowa State, Wichita State and Tennessee.
“I think he’s the best athlete in junior college basketball,” McCann said. “He’s got a 40-plus vertical jump and is really good in transition. He can catch and shoot and score in a variety of ways. He’s a strong, slashing athlete who can really fill it up. There’s no question he has the tools to be a strong defender.”
Allen played his senior year at Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory School in Hollywood, Florida. McCann said he went the junior college route because he was an academic non-qualifier.
Allen is the third Baylor commitment in the 2018 class, joining Austin Westlake forward Matthew Mayer and Houston Madison guard Jeremiah Gambrell.