In June, Eastside had the opportunity to speak with an up-and-coming Division I basketball coach Jerome Allen of the University of Pennsylvania on his philosophy on recruiting high school athletes in his first year on the job.
Allen is one of the all-time great Penn basketball players in the history of its storied basketball program and took over as head coach in the middle of the 2009-2010 season after the firing of Glen Miller. Allen also played basketball in the NBA and professionally in Europe. Here are some of his insights on what colleges look for in a high school athlete and his personal goals for rebuilding the basketball program at Penn.
Allen, among many other college coaches, looks into a players’ behavior off of the court as much as they study their skills on it.
“We’re attracted to high character individuals,” said Allen. “First and foremost, a University of Pennsylvania kid has to fit our academic profile.”
Especially at an Ivy League school that does not offer athletic scholarships, Allen must target student-athletes who prioritize academics and can handle the rigorous academics at Penn.
Allen also looks for players to meet his specific goals at the University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball program that will work hard.
“I’m trying to change the culture. In any setting you have to try to cover all the details you possibly can and demand a consistent effort [from players and staff],” said Allen.
Ultimately, Allen knows that his recruits will be judged by how they do on the court.
“I’m trying to help and put a product on the floor that so many people are used to seeing.”