May 19, 2005 - by
Junior College All-American Signs NLI To Play Basketball At Florida State

Echefu Signs National Letter of Intent

May 19, 2005

Jerel Allen, who earned All-America Honorable Mention honors as a sophomore at Mott Community College in 2005, has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Florida State University and play basketball for Head Coach Leonard Hamilton. He averaged 17.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.7 steals and 3.0 assists per game in leading Mott (Flint, Mich.) to a 30-3 record and the championship of the Michigan Community College Athletic Association tournament his sophomore season.

“I am looking forward to playing at Florida State and learning everything I can from Coach Hamilton and his staff,” said Allen. “I know that Florida State is a program where we can win and I hope to come in and help my teammates do just that – win. I feel that my maturity and the success we achieved at my junior college will help me be successful at Florida State.

“I chose to play at Florida State because I want to help build a winning tradition and play against the best college players in the country,” he said.

Allen (6-4, 195 lbs) led Mott in most statistical categories including scoring (497 points/17.2 ppg), steals (106/3.7 spg), 3-point field goals made (79/2.7 mpg) and 3-point field goal percentage (.422) during his sophomore season. He ranked third on the team in scoring as a freshman and scored 790 points (13.9 ppg) during his two-year career at Mott.

Allen, an All-NJCAA District 8 all-tournament selection, led the Bears to the championship game of the district tournament. He scored a game-high 23 points in Mott’s District 8 win over Kalamazoo College in the semifinals of the tournament. The Bears fell in the championship game to Lake Michigan College, 78-72. He was one of three players from Mott to earn all-tournament team honors at the district tournament. Allen also led Mott to the championship of the Michigan Community College Athletic Association and earned all-league first-team honors. He then scored 14 points and made a game-high tying four 3-point shots in the MCCAA All-Star game.

Allen was named as the fifth best junior college wing guard in the nation by Lindy’s College Basketball Annuals prior to the 2004-05 season. He selected Florida State over Texas, Michigan, Purdue, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

“Jerel comes to us from Mott Community College – a school with a winning tradition and one that many people feel is one of the top junior college programs in the country,” said Hamilton. He has been extremely well coached by Steve Schmidt who helped Jerel become one of the more complete junior college players in the country.

“Jerel’s commitment to our program is an extremely important addition to our basketball program,” Hamilton said. “His statistics and accomplishments as a basketball player are well documented and he brings many intangibles with him that our young team will benefit from. He understands how to be productive and has an uncanny ability to make the players around him better. We feel very fortunate to add this very important player to our team as we continue to build our program.”

“Jerel is a strong, physical guard who has a great ability to attack the basket and can also heat up from long range,” said Vince Baldwin of Prep “His offensive skills are incredible. He is a player with a wide range of skills who is more explosive than most people might think. He played in the toughest league in the city of Detroit in high school and played at a very high level in junior college. I expect nothing but success for him at Florida State – he could be one of the biggest surprises in the ACC during the upcoming season.”

Allen is the fourth player to sign an NLI to attend Florida State this year. He will join high school seniors Caasan Breeden (Bennettsville, S.C./Marlboro County), Uche Echefu (Lagos, Nigeria/Montrose Christian School) and Ryan Reid (Lauderdale Lakes, Fla./Boyd Anderson) in the Seminoles’ lineup for the 2005-06 season. Breeden was an All-State First-Team selection and the high school player of the year in the state of South Carolina in 2005, Echefu was the Player of the Year in the State of Maryland and Reid was an All-State Second Team an All-County First Team selection by the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel newspaper.

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