Feb. 25, 2007
Every player is unique in what they bring to a team. There are shooters, ball handlers, defenders and role players. Then, sometimes there are teams that are lucky enough to get a player who is effective in all of those categories. For the Seminoles, that player is senior Jerel Allen.
The senior guard comes off the bench for the Seminoles and at this point in time has accepted the role and sees it as an advantage. “I like coming off the bench. I get to watch and see what’s happening in the game before I play. I get a feel for the flow of the game and what the other team is coming with.”
Several teams throughout college basketball go through somewhat of a survival period when substitutions are made. They try to keep pace with the opponent while giving the starters’ a breather. For the Seminoles, this is not the case. They do not worry about any drop off when Allen is put into the game. The coaches and players expect him to come in and produce and make an impact.
“I feel I’m the type of guy that can give you whatever you need and I like taking on that role.” Upon coming to Florida State, Coach Hamilton and his staff used him as a defensive presence. “That was the role that Coach Ham felt I needed to fulfill, so I did.”
The Seminole basketball team was able to snatch the 6’4 guard out of both Michigan St. and Michigan’s backyard. After putting up superior numbers during his high school career and receiving no attention from those two major programs, he decided to go to Mott Community College.
After two years, you can bet both the in state schools had him down as a top priority. However, Allen chose a different path and decided to get out of town. He added, “I felt like FSU basketball was on the upswing and I was looking forward to getting a chance to be a part of the first Seminole basketball team to make it to the NCAA tournament since the 1998 season.”
After a year and a half with the team, Allen has become a solid contributor in all aspects of the game. He plays solid defense, has a smooth shot and is a very reliable ball handler. He also does a lot of the little things that do not get posted in the stat book whether it is poking the ball out to keep the possession alive or taking a charge for the team and creating turnovers.
If the team needs a spark on offense he can score. If they need to shut a player down on the defensive side he is ready. The Detroit native is currently averaging 5.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steals per game.
As he does on the basketball court, Allen brings versatility off the court as well. “I feel I have a good personality.” He is known as one of the jokester’s on the squad and gets along with everybody. “I can kick it with all the guys, I hang out with everyone.”
The fact that he has such a strong bond with all of his fellow mates is important when it comes game time. Being one of only two seniors on the team, forward Al Thornton the other, he has to be able to step up and communicate with his teammates in game situations. “At different times, I feel like I have to be a vocal guy and other times I might just lead by example, but when I say something, everyone listens.”
When Allen finishes up at Florida State, he plans on pursuing a different dream other than basketball. “I still plan on playing some kind of basketball, but I am interested in either becoming a businessman or eventually I would really like to get into sports commentating.” He continued, “I know I can stay relaxed, I understand what is going on and I feel I am very well spoken.”
He may become an NBA star or a legendary sports commentator. He might end up getting involved in other areas, but one thing holds true, he will step up and be a team player and do anything needed to be successful.
By Ben Murphy Florida State Sports Information