But after an impressive season debut Sunday against Tulsa, when he scored 15 points in 21 minutes off the bench, the 6-foot-1 sophomore took a step back in Tuesday's win over North Carolina Central, with six points in 20 minutes.
Terps coach Mark Turgeon has told Allen to simply tell him how his foot feels and Allen knows he needs to be smart.
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“It’s really to go at my own pace, don’t rush things,” Allen said Friday after Maryland practiced for Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech at Comcast Center. “The big thing for me is to get back in game shape so I want to practice as much as can, but also be careful about my foot.”
Allen will continue to come off the bench for the Terps, with freshman Roddy Peters starting at the point. Turgeon said he wants Allen to get fully back in shape before he returns to the starting lineup, at either point or on the wing.
Turgeon said that Allen was “really sore” after Tuesday’s game and that he took all of Thursday’s practice off as well as half of Friday’s. He is expected to play Saturday against Georgia Tech.
“He’s nowhere near [100 percent],” Turgeon said. “We’re trying to make sure he’s healthy on game day, and I’m hoping at some point the foot pain goes away. It’s not the bone, it’s all the other stuff around it, the muscles and tendons. I’d say he’s about 75 percent right now.”
Turgeon said that the percentage depends on what side of the court the Terps are on.
“I’d say he’s about 85 percent on offense and 65 percent on defense, which most kids are,” Turgeon said.
Asked if there are moves he can’t make yet, Allen said he is more comfortable taking open jump shots than trying to move off a screen or cut to the basket for a layup or dunk.
“I can’t react as fast as I would like to, I kind of have to use my head more than I can use my body,” Allen said.
One thing that has changed is Allen seems to playing more under control. He had just one turnover to three assists in his debut, with four assists and two turnovers in the second game.
Allen said that “sitting out just changed my game, it’s helped me a better point guard, seeing more things that I would see, and I’m hearing the coaches talk. My knowledge for the game just grew tremendously and it’s made play more as the [point guard] with more poise and being able to run the team better.”firstname.lastname@example.org