Anderson announces first signing

COLUMBIA — Missouri basketball coach Kim Anderson has landed his first recruit.

Anderson announced Monday that D’Angelo Allen, a 6-foot-7, 190-pound small forward from Dallas, has signed a letter-of-intent to play for the Tigers next season.

Known for his athleticism and defensive versatility, Allen was part of three Class 4A state championship teams at Kimball High School, where he helped the Knights reach four consecutive state title games, winning it in 2011, ’12 and ’14.

“He has a winner’s mentality and helped his team to three state titles in four years, so he does whatever it takes to help his team win,” Anderson said in a statement. “He can score, rebound, defend and block shots, and I really appreciate his willingness to put team success over his personal accolades.”

This season, Allen led Kimball back to the title game by scoring 11 points and blocking five shots in a 60-56 semifinal win against Beaumont Central. He continued his solid play in the championship game, scoring 10 points, grabbing eight rebounds and blocking four shots in a 52-37 win against Amarillo.

“D’Angelo is a bit of a sleeper prospect nationally, but he is a talented young man that is known well throughout our state,” TexasBoysBasketball.com recruiting analyst Alan Branch said in a statement. “Missouri is getting a winner and a competitor. He is one of the few players that takes as much pride on the defensive end of the court as he does scoring the basketball.”

Branch ranks Allen as a Top 10 prospect for the 2014 senior class in Texas, which includes five McDonald’s All-Americans.

“This is a banner year for high-school basketball in the state of Texas and that includes D’Angelo Allen,” Branch said.

Anderson, who also had offers from Oklahoma, Marquette, Houston and Georgetown, finished his senior season averaging 13.3 points and 10.2 rebounds.

For his efforts, Allen was named to the Class 4A State Championship All-Tournament Team. He also finished his career as Kimball’s all-time leader in starts, breaking the mark held by former Texas A&M star Acie Law IV.

In addition, Allen was named to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 4A All-Star Team as a senior and was an All-Region II pick.

“We are excited to add D’Angelo to our family here at Missouri,” Anderson said. “He is going to be a great addition to our program.”

It hasn’t been all good news for the Tigers in the past three days.

State Fair Community College guard Kevin Punter signed a letter-of-intent Monday to play at Tennessee, opting for the Volunteers instead of the Tigers.

Punter signed with the Tigers during a ceremony April 16, but didn’t fax it to Missouri, and when Frank Haith left for Tulsa, he reopened his recruitment.

He wasn’t the only player to have second thoughts about becoming a Tiger.

Namon Wright, a 6-5 shooting guard from Pacific Hills, Calif., is seeking a release from his letter-of-intent with Missouri after Haith’s departure, his high school coach said.

Anderson will travel today to California in an attempt to keep Wright, a four-star recruit and a top 100-prospect, with the Tigers.

In addition, there are reports Ronnie Suggs of Washington High School has reopened his recruitment. Suggs, one of the top juniors in Missouri, had orally committed to the Tigers last August.

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