RALEIGH, N.C. – Thomas Allen absolutely loathes when people refer to him as underrated.
Now be clear, he definitely agrees with the assessment, it’s just that saying a player is underrated is just so, well, overdone and cliché.
“I don’t even get into that,” Allen said. “I just hoop; I feel like that’s the only thing I can control.”
Allen was very business-like in his approach Tuesday at the High School OT Holiday Invitational, dropping 40 points to lead Garner (Garner, N.C.) past Voyager Academy (Durham, N.C.) 91-81.
“He’s been asked to play the point and to pick up his point production,” Garner coach Eddie Gray said. “He’s done a great job with it.”
Last season, Allen averaged 21 points a game and led the Trojans to the 4A state title. This season he’s pumping in 25 points a game and has Garner sitting at 11-2.
Allen averaged 31.1 points a game at the HSOT and was equally dominant while running with the Garner Road Bulldogs this past AAU season, scoring 23 points a game. But good luck finding his name in any national rankings.
“I try not to think about that kind of stuff,” Allen said. “When it’s time to prove them wrong is when I care.”
It’s not all bad, Allen’s skills haven’t eluded some college coaches. VCU, Nebraska, DePaul, ECU, La Salle, Longwood and North Dakota, among others, have either offered or expressed interest in him.
The consistency standpoint alone begs the question: Is Thomas Allen the best junior point guard you’ve never heard of?
“Well, I do feel like I should be ranked in the national rankings,” Allen said. “People know about me in the state, but I definitely want to get my name out more nationally. I want more ACC schools, more Big East schools, more Big Ten schools to get involved.
“But, again, the way to get that you just have to worry about hooping. That’s all I try to focus on.”
Follow Jason Jordan on Twitter: @JayJayUSATODAY