Steadily improving his production all of his three years in college, Lavoy Allen
enters his senior season firmly on the NBA draft radar, but there is still much more he could do to improve his stock.
At 6'9 with a solid frame and solid length, Allen is a highly mobile and coordinated athlete, but not a very explosive one. Allen's somewhat laid back of play makes his lack of explosiveness even more pronounced than it has to be, as he rarely if ever tries to finish with power.
On the offensive end, Allen has a pretty nice set of skills, though he's very content being a cog in Temple's offense as opposed to consistently asserting himself and taking over games. It's not a rare occurrence for Allen to go 10 minutes on the floor without a field goal attempt, and it's a big reason why he averaged just 13.3 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted this past season.
Allen does the majority of his damage operating with his back to the basket, where he has a diverse arsenal of moves and a very strong feel for the game. He is predominantly a finesse player here, relying on turnaround jumpers and jump hooks primarily, though he will occasionally show off nice sequences of drop steps or up-and-under moves going to the basket. His footwork is very strong and he's capable of covering large amounts of ground with long strides, making him capable of finishing from some awkward angles.
The biggest thing that holds Allen back in this area is his complete inability to finish with power, being incapable and/or unwilling to power up over defenders, and calling him soft wouldn't be a stretch. According to Synergy Sports Technology, he averaged just 0.63 points per possession on post-ups this past season, and that's certainly something he'll want to improve.
On the positive side, Allen also does a good amount of damage off the ball, finishing on cuts and offensive rebounds, where his combination of touch and mobility makes him very dangerous on the catch-and-finish. His underwhelming post game probably wouldn't be utilized much in the pros, but this is an area he could excel with, especially if he transitioned it into more of a pick-and-roll game, something he isn't utilized much with currently.
Allen also brings a respectable jump shot to the table, dabbling with range to the college three-point line (12 makes from deep in three seasons). His form is sloppy, with him fading away and not holding his follow through on many attempts, but his results aren't bad, and there's reason to believe he can improve in this area over time, something that will be likely critical to his chances in the NBA. Developing into a more reliable spot-up shooter in combination with his ability to score rolling to the basket would make him a very dynamic threat out of the pick-and-roll and pick-and-pop.
Another thing Allen brings to the table that may catch some off guard is an outstanding ability to pass out of the high post, where he shows great court vision and instincts hitting cutters and shooters alike. He sometimes will overdo it in this area of his game, giving up the ball too freely when his team could use him to score, as he's probably too unselfish for his own good at this level, though it may benefit him more in the pros where he has much better offensive options to defer to.
On the defensive end, Allen shows a high level of attentiveness and an excellent fundamental base in the post, where he does exceptionally well against most of the competition he faces at this level, doing a good job getting leverage, keeping his hands up, and moving his feet. That said, from an NBA standpoint he doesn't have above average strength, size, or quickness for a power forward, and it shows when he's matched with more physically imposing opponents, where he can be beat frequently. On the perimeter, Allen likewise has a good fundamental base and appears pretty comfortable on switches despite his high center of gravity, though he doesn't have the lateral quickness to stay in front of most people. To his credit, he does a good job hustling to stay in plays when he is beat, using his length to block shots from behind.
Allen is a very good shot blocker in man-to-man situations in the post where he shows superb timing, though he isn't very threatening from the weakside, not being very assertive and lacking great athleticism and length to affect shots. Allen also does an excellent job on the glass on both ends of the court, showing good timing and instincts in pursuit.
Looking forward, Allen clearly brings quite a few things to the table that could translate to the NBA, namely his rebounding, passing, jump shot, and ability to finish on the move in the lane. Further developing these key skills could allow him to find a niche as a hustling, rebounding, pick-and-roll power forward in the NBA, but shoring up his defense and maximizing his physical abilities should also be priorities. Playing with more assertiveness and a higher motor also wouldn't hurt, as Allen's somewhat passive demeanor isn't typical of players who fill the niche he likely projects to if he makes it in the NBA.