Desert Ridge High School (16-10) has been up and down this high school season, but when the team has been good they have been really good. The success of the team this season has primarily rested on the shoulders of two players - ultra-talented 6-foot-3 senior guard Hunter Thomas (21.8 ppg), the team's leading scorer, and 6-foot-4 sophomore combo-forward Teddy Allen.
After a dismal 9-16 performance last season, head coach Greg Ream has led this team to a 16-10 overall record this high school season, and an opportunity to compete in the Division-I state playoffs. When the team has been at their best this high school season, it has been when Thomas and Allen have both played well - with Thomas slicing up defenses with his ability to make plays off the dribble and shoot the basketball, and Teddy Allen making plays off the dribble and getting to the basket.
Allen, a mere sophomore prospect, has been terrific at times this season - averaging 18.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per/game. He has been at his best when taking defenders off the dribble and making plays toward the rim. Allen is a prototypical mismatch for opposing teams, and is tough to defend off the dribble - possessing a very good handle of the basketball and body control. He can struggle at times with his shot selection - electing to take long perimeter jump shots and early within the offense. As he develops a better feel for the game and an understanding of when to make plays, which should come over time, he could develop into a big-time college prospect for the future.
Already, Allen has developed himself into one of the state's premier young prospects and one of the top overall prospects in Arizona's talented 2016 class. He has excellent size already and is still growing - suggesting that he could develop into a bigger 3/4 prospect over time and become a high-major division-I prospect in the class.
To reach his maximum potential as a player, Allen will need to develop his perimeter jump shot and shot selection, but as long as he can take defenders off the dribble and finish in the lane, where he is at his best, look for teams to continue to struggle slowing him down.
Desert Ridge is looking to make some noise in the post-season this year, and if so, they will rely heavily on the play of Hunter Thomas and Teddy Allen, whom have accounted for more than 60% of the team's offensive production this season.
Look for Teddy Allen to continue to blossom in the future, as he has proved this high school season that he is among the most talented young prospects that the state currently has to offer.