The message from Bob Huggins to Teddy Allen must have been heard loud and clear. The freshman on the WVU basketball team was just getting too big for his britches.
Huggins decided to limit Allen’s play and even cut it completely in the past two games. Allen returned on Monday as the Mountaineers fell to TCU, 82-73.
Allen made no impact in this game scoring seven points in 12 minutes off the bench. It could be argued that had Allen played against Kansas and Texas Tech, the WVU basketball team would have been victorious.
However, it was the offense that struggled against the Jayhawks and Red Raiders. The Mountaineers suffered through severe scoring droughts against the Horned Frogs and at one point trailed by 20 in the second half. By calling on Allen, the load was not lightened at all.
But the main point is that Allen needs to learn from his time on the bench and realize where his place is on the WVU basketball team. Maybe someday he can be like Da’Sean Butler, but until he fully develops his game and pays his dues, he will need to listen to Huggins, the rest of the coaching staff, and the true leaders on this team like Jevon Carter and Daxter Miles.
Allen bust onto the scene fairly quickly and used his early playing time as a way to showcase his scoring skills. In a way, he can be like Oklahoma’s Trae Young where even his low-percentage shots find a way to go in the hoop. Allen doesn’t rely on the 3-ball like Young but he uses his ability to drive the lane, draw contact and watch a miracle floater somehow go through the cylinder. Allen is fearless, but he is also cocky.
It appears to be the reason why he sat the bench. Huggins subtly relayed such information to media outlets, like WV News. Huggins wanted to give Allen a reality check and according to Allen’s Twitter account, it was well-received.
Even from his spot at the end of the bench during the Texas game, Allen was seen as the team’s biggest cheerleader. He didn’t sulk or feel sorry for himself. By being engaged into the game, Allen showed how much he really wants to be a part of this successful program.
Allen will be a huge part of the Mountaineers’ success this season and the next three years. Hopefully this past week will keep him in check and he won’t let his ego stand in the way of the great things that can happen.
The WVU basketball team has great depth this season and there really isn’t room for anybody who wants to stand out from the team dynamic that works well for the Mountaineers. Huggins knows what it takes to build a winner. His players need to learn what it takes to be a part of one.