Jeff Allen has the talent to be one of the best interior players in the ACC, but his performances are more enigmatic. The key indicator to Allen's success are neither his points nor his rebounds, but instead his fouls. He averages 14 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, but those averages are the product of outliers.
Allen has had three or fewer fouls in seven ACC games this season. He averages 15.7 points in those games. In six ACC games when he had four or five fouls, Allen averaged 12.5 points. (For those who are aware that the Hokies are 7-7, Allen was suspended for a Feb. 18 loss to Virginia. The reason? His gesture toward the Maryland crowd after fouling out.)
Want more evidence of the connection between Allen's fouls and the Hokies' success? In the 10 losses in which Allen has played, he averages 4.4 fouls. In the 17 wins, Allen averages just more than three fouls per game.
“You want him to eliminate those foolish fouls, and if he’s going to commit a foul, then make sure it’s a foul," Coach Seth Greenberg said. "I think he could have a little bit better focus defensively at times. The other day, he got two offensive fouls. That has nothing to do with being aggressive defensively.”
Staying out of foul trouble will critical in Wednesday's game against North Carolina. That becomes a significant challenge because Tar Heels starTyler Hansbrough is tied for the lead in the ACC in free throws.
March 3, 2009; 10:46 PM ET
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