Quincy Allen spent the entire 2021-22 season simply getting as many reps as he could.
Unfortunately for Allen, these were strictly mental reps. A prized four-star prospect in the highest-ranked recruiting class in Colorado men’s basketball history, Allen was forced to the sideline for his entire freshman year due to hip surgery.
After a year spent watching and waiting, Allen finally is getting his chance this preseason as CU continues workouts ahead of the Nov. 7 opener at home against UC Riverside. No other player on CU’s roster blends the sort of athleticism, shooting ability, and size boasted by Allen, making his return to the floor one of the intriguing question marks surrounding the Buffs going into the season.
“It’s two different worlds,” Allen said. “On the sideline, you can observe and you get to see everyone, and see all the good and the bad. But when you’re in it, there’s stuff you can’t see that the sideline can see. And there’s stuff you can only see when you’re on the floor.
“But I think it did help me, watching and observing. Seeing how people play, seeing the different defensive positionings. I made the most of it, knowledge-wise. But being out there physically has been a whole different thing.”
Head coach Tad Boyle has likened Allen’s leaping ability to Tyler Bey, who finished his CU career ranked eighth in program history in rebounds before getting drafted in the second round of the 2020 NBA draft. The Buffs have a big void to fill in regards to rebounding after losing the top two rebounders from last year’s team, including Pac-12 Conference leader Jabari Walker.
The Buffs aren’t expecting to lean on a player who has yet to play a college game to fill that gap, but Allen’s 6-foot-8 frame and superb leaping ability certainly make him a candidate to help the Buffs on the glass.
“Quincy is as physically gifted of a player as we’ve ever had in this program in terms of his ability to get quick off his feet,” Boyle said. “He’s a good shooter, relatively skilled. He still needs to get stronger, but he makes plays that I’d say one percent of college basketball players can make, in terms of his ability to get off the floor. Fans understand what Tyler Bey did for us. Quincy Allen can do some of the same things, but he’s not as physically strong right now as Tyler was.
“The game is moving kind of fast for him. He didn’t get the reps last year. The biggest thing we need out of Quincy is consistency.”
Boyle, of course, has not anointed a starting lineup or a rotation yet, but Allen likely will be ticketed for one of the top roles off the bench. The Buffs face Wyoming in a closed scrimmage on Saturday and host Nebraska in a charity exhibition on Oct. 30.
“I think my athleticism is something I can take a long way,” Allen said. “Coming in and providing good minutes. Knocking down open shots. Offensive rebounding and defensively blocking shots. Whatever the team needs. I haven’t played in a real game in a minute. I’m excited to play and get out there and show people what I can do.”
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