Florida freshman forward Adam Allen realizes in his first season he just has to be ready when he’s called upon.
Allen, who didn’t play until the closing seconds against Vanderbilt, came back to play 11 minutes Saturday against Arkansas.
The Vanderbilt game, Allen admitted Monday, surprised him.
“I wasn’t really expecting that,” Allen said. “That’s the first time it ever happened to me.
You just have to take your lumps as you go. I’m a freshman here. It’s not the last time it’s going to happen. I would have liked to have gotten in the game, but we won, we beat them by twenty-something so I was happy with that.”
Allen said that Florida coach Billy Donovan approached him after the Vanderbilt game.
“He kind of thought I might have been a little upset that I didn’t get in the game and he came and approached me and told me about it,” Allen said. “But it’s not a big deal, you know. Everything is fine.”
The 6-foot-7 Allen established himself as an accurate long-range shooter during the non-conference schedule, but it hasn’t translated over to conference play. After shooting 52.6 percent (20-38) from 3-point range in his first 15 games, Allen is shooting 21.4 percent (3-14) from the same distance in SEC play.
“Defenses are quicker,” Allen said. “It’s been a little bit harder to get my shot off.”
Allen also said he’s been throwing a baseball on his own in hopes of walking on to the baseball team later this spring when basketball season ends. Allen was a standout right-handed pitcher at Milton High who was clocked as high as 90 miles per hour in some games.
Florida walk-on guard Hudson Fricke, a former high school baseball player, catches for Allen when he throws in the alley between the basketball complex and UF women’s club.
“I just go out here and throw behind the building to keep my arm in shape,” Allen said.
Allen said he went out to McKethan Stadium “once or twice” and has maintained contact with new UF baseball coach Kevin O’Sullivan.
“He texts me every now and again after the game, (saying) good job tonight, keep hitting the 3s,” Allen said.