Allen to enter draft, but he could return
Texas freshman Jarrett Allen will enter the NBA draft but will not sign with an agent, thereby preserving his amateur status should he decide to return, according to CBS Sports.
A Texas spokesman could not confirm the report as of Tuesday afternoon.
The decision wouldn’t be a surprise. The NCAA has tweaked the rules to allow players to go through the NBA scouting combine and predraft process to see where they stand.
Inside the Texas program, coaches and players weren’t sure which way Allen was leaning. Coaches believe he is inclined to return.
But Allen is surely aware that NBA general managers are enamored with athletic 6-foot-11 big men.
The St. Stephen’s product averaged 13.4 points and 8.4 points last season in 33 games.
His best game came against Kansas’ potential NBA lottery pick Josh Jackson. Allen had 22 points and 19 rebounds in 34 minutes.
“Whatever’s best for my future. Staying might benefit me and leaving might benefit me,” Allen said after the Big 12 Tournament. “I’m going to go home and talk to my family and see what I can do.”
The Longhorns, who finished a disappointing 11-22, took last week off for spring break and began offseason workouts Monday.
Football: Third-string quarterback Matthew Merrick, a player unlikely to see meaningful playing time, has decided to leave the program and focus on his academics, Texas officials announced Tuesday.
Merrick was third on the depth chart behind freshman Shane Buechele and incoming freshman Sam Ehlinger.
Men’s golf: The Texas men’s golf team shot 276 and finished in a tie for fourth place at the Valspar Collegiate in Palm City, Fla., on Tuesday.
Doug Ghim shot a 65 and finished in a tie for fourth to lead the 13th-ranked Longhorns. pressure. After five seasons of being the go-to guy, Parker has happily relinquished the job and embraced a new role.
“Just try and get Kawhi (Leonard) and LA (LaMarcus Aldridge) rolling early in the game to make sure they’re in the best rhythm as possible,” said Parker. “That’s my job right now.”
The Parker of old isn’t gone, just reserved for when needed most. That explosiveness may not always be there like it was during a 17-game stretch when Parker averaged 13.5 points on 51 percent shooting and 5.1 assists helping the Spurs go 13-4 — but it appears on nights like Sunday against Sacramento.
It’s true the miles Parker racked up affected his play, but he couldn’t be more proud of the mileage.
“I feel like I’m blessed,” Parker reiterated. “Guys have worse (injuries), you know? Knees, Achilles, stuff like that. I’ve been playing for 16 years. All season long for the Spurs, and then all summer internationally. And the way I play, with speed and going into the trees (the paint), getting hit so many times and going to the ground so many times, I feel very blessed to still be out there.”
Parker recalled the 201115 stretch when he was the man. The notion then was the Spurs couldn’t win unless he was scoring and being aggressive. “When we went, twice, to the finals, I felt like it was my job,” he said.
Nowadays, the chatter has reversed. NBA pundits are wondering if Parker is the weak link. Is he too much a liability on defense? Can the Spurs win with Parker going up against the elite point guards: Steph Curry, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul? Can Parker provide the Spurs a little of what he gave back then to help the team win in the playoffs?
“I don’t focus on what people think I should do or try to be more aggressive or whatever people are saying. I don’t really watch it. I’ve got two kids. I’m busy. I really don’t focus on that . ... I can’t focus on one-on-one matchups with Westbrook and Curry because that’s not my job anymore. I just want to try and do whatever I can to be the best that I can in whatever Pop wants me to do now.
“It’s not my job anymore to try and be a scorer or try to be aggressive,” Parker added. “I just have to take whatever it is for me. Sometimes I’ll take three, four shots. Sometimes I’ll take 10 shots. It depends on the games, and it depends on Kawhi and LA, how they’re rolling and stuff like that.”
Parker took those 10 shots against the Kings, as Leonard had an off night (season-low 12 points). He scored 12 of his 16 points in the second quarter, the most points Parker scored in a single quarter this season.
In the win over Houston earlier this month, the Rockets laid off Parker, giving him space in the corner, and he made them pay by finishing a season-best 3-of-6 from three.
“I was just wide open and knocked down shots,” he said afterward. “That’s my shot in the corner. I’m allowed to shoot those. I’m taking those.”
Even with Leonard ascending as the go-to guy, along with Aldridge at times, Parker is still making his presence known in other ways. The Spurs are 11-2 this season when Parker has seven or more assists, and 8-2 this season when he scores 10 or more points and seven or more assists.
“It obviously helps if I play well,” said Parker before quickly staying true to his “I try to do whatever Pop wants” motto.
The Spurs still need their floor general, though not relied on as heavily. Parker knows it, too. But he’s at ease now. No pressure. Ignoring any doubters. Embracing the new challenge of leadership.
“It’s been two years now,” said Parker. “I love it. I think the evolution in anybody’s career is, as you get older, you have to adjust to who is the main guys on your team. Try to be a factor just like Manu (Ginobili) did. Just like Timmy (Duncan) did. I just try and do the same thing.”
Perhaps this version of Parker is exactly what the Spurs need as they continue pursuing championship No. 6.
The explosiveness of the Spurs’ Tony Parker may not always be there like it was, but it appears on certain nights when needed.