Jeff Allen won't be fazed by Cameron Crazies
Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg has said recently that Jeff Allen is having more fun this season. He said the junior forward is enjoying being around his teammates and is putting in the work on the court.
"We’re winning more games,” Allen said with a smile. “Basketball is more fun now."
And part of that, for Allen, has meant putting aside past on-court disciplinary incidents. And when the Hokies (21-4, 8-3) play at No. 6 Duke (22-4, 10-2) on Sunday, Allen said he would enjoy the wild crowd at Cameron Indoor Stadium, instead of letting fans get to him.
As a freshman, Allen was suspended two games for bumping an official after fouling out of a loss at Georgia Tech. Allen was suspended last season for giving the middle finger in response to a fan who, he said, yelled a racial slur at him after he had fouled out of a loss at Maryland.
"Honestly, it’s all funny,” he said on Friday afternoon. “The funniest thing I heard was probably at N.C. State, when they were like, ‘Jeff, don’t get mad and hit the ref,’ or ‘Don’t flick us off,’ or something like that. It’s all fun. Looking back in the past, I made the wrong decisions. But now that I look back at it, it was wrong back then, but it’s kind of funny to me now. I realize it was the past. There’s nothing I can really do to change it. I made the decision. I dealt with the consequences. I feel like, yes, I can laugh at it now. Most of them were kind of like the heat-of-the-moment type things, where I really didn’t think."
In fact, he said, he always enjoyed the Cameron Crazies. He said he laughed last season when he heard Duke fans chanting "Dr. Pepper" at former Hokie guard A.D. Vassallo, who was involved in the theft of Dr. Pepper from a convenience store.
This season, Allen was ejected from a win at Virginia on Jan. 28, but since then, he has been playing some of his best basketball of his Hokie career.
Allen has scored in double figures in five of six games since then, including a 19-point performance in a loss at Miami on Jan. 31 and a 14-point, 8-rebound outing in a win at North Carolina State on Feb. 10. He also took over the second half of a win over Virginia on Feb. 13, scoring all 13 of his points after halftime after sitting for almost all of the first half.
Also on Friday, Allen, a junior, said he did not plan to leave Virginia Tech early to enter the NBA draft.
While Allen seems to have a tremendous upside because of his body (6 feet 7, 230 pounds) and athleticism, but he has not always played consistently and has had difficulty staying out of foul trouble this season. He is currently not considered a highly regarded NBA prospect.
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