Kentucky coach John Calipari met with the media Tuesday morning via a Zoom video press conference.
This was the first time Calipari had spoken to UK media since the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament and there was a lot to discuss.
One topic of conversation was freshman forward Dontaie Allen, who redshirted this season and will have four years of eligibility remaining after missing the season to recover from a torn ACL.
“By the end of the year he was in the spirit to play and want to play but I kept telling him I’m not going to use a year of your eligibility for 30 seconds or two games, I won’t do that,” Calipari said. “Unless you’re telling me I just want to play, forget about that coach, which he wasn’t going to do.”
Allen resumed practice last December and even progressed to the point he was going through warmups with the team before games.
Calipari noticed a difference in Allen’s conditioning and level of play during practice the last month of the season.
“I’m going to say the last month of the season, he started playing at a level of intensity and conditioning that he could have played in games, but it was only the last month of the season.”
While Allen may have been physically ready to play in games down the stretch, he was still figuring out spacing on the court while learning the system.
“He was still learning plays, spacing, press attacks, zone stuff, he was still learning all that. But he would have been able to get in games and I’m not saying play ten straight minutes, but he could have gone in the game and held his own. So I’m excited for him coming back and I think he is excited.”