Top-80 prospect Dante Allen recaps Villanova visit, previews Notre Dame official, discusses move to Montverde Academy and much more | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / July 12.
  • Top-80 prospect Dante Allen recaps Villanova visit, previews Notre Dame official, discusses move to Montverde Academy and much more

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    Four-star shooting guard Dante Allen has had a busy summer. He’s helped Nightrydas Elite to a top seed at Peach Jam. He’s attended NBPA Top-100 camp. He’s transferred to one of the premier high school basketball programs in the nation in Montverde Academy.

    And recently, he’s taken an unoffical visit to Villanova, the school his father Malik Allen played basketball at from 1996-2000.

    “Of course he loves the school,” Allen said of his father, who led Villanova in scoring his senior season. “But he’s not pushing me in any way. He wants for me what’s the best situation for me. Really one thing while we were there, he kind of knew more stuff too. He knew how things go and what stuff that they do. So he was just telling me about that, but not in a way trying to push me one way or another. Just trying to help me out to have an idea of how Villanova is.”

    Allen was able to tour the Villanova campus and see how the players interact. The Wildcats are currently in the middle of summer workouts.

    “I got to see a little bit of one of their first workouts,” Allen said. “But the thing is they have some guys coming back from injury. A couple of high school guys weren’t back just yet. So they were unable to have a few guys, but even watching that, it was still really good. I kind of got an idea of what a normal workout would go like with their team.”

    While visiting, Allen also spent a lot of time with the Villanova coaching staff. Here is what he said of the staff’s message during the visit:

    “We really want you here. We feel like you’d be a guy that fits, especially as a guard. They have a good mix of guys who they recruit, a good mix of guys who they try and get from the portal that also fit their style. They tell me it’s not come in and sit on the bench and having to watch for the year. It’s coming in and making an impact, putting me in position to be an important part of the team.”

    Allen has one last official this summer before Peach Jam to Notre Dame from June 25-27. The guard is looking forward to seeing the new weight room and training areas.

    “I’ve heard from a couple other people that went on visits there it’s really nice and really cool and I’m really excited to see it for the first time on sight,” Allen said. “So I’m excited to see that, and I know that’s a pretty big campus too. So kind of seeing where everything is, how difficult it may be to get around places.”

    Allen is still hearing from Marquette, Michigan and Syracuse, and he’s also recently heard from Houston and Oklahoma State.

    Allen on Houston: “Obviously they’re a really great team, have been ranked high the past few years. But also just how hard they play and how hard they really push each other, it’s something that’s nice watching. Like when you’re watching, you can see, especially on the defensive end, how much they take pride in themselves and the stuff that they’ve worked on. And how much they really want to be the hardest playing team, the best defensive playing team, the most together team. So watching them is just like — it’s really hard to not want to be part of a team like that.”

    After Peach Jam, Allen is potentially eyeing another visit before the end of the summer, but he will likely take the rest of his official visits in the fall. He will also begin playing for his new school, Montverde, during that timeframe.

    “One thing I definitely wanted to do is just like play with and against the best players in the country,” Allen said of the move from Riviera to Montverde. “When you go to college, that’s who you’re going to be playing with. You’re going to be playing with every team’s old best player or something like that. So to kind of get ready for that.”

    Allen expressed that more training and practice time influenced his decision to change schools. He added transferring from Riviera was not easy.

    Montverde head coach Kevin Boyle first contacted Allen to join Montverde in mid-April before the first Nike EYBL session.

    “He just kind of said, ‘We think you’d fit here. We think you’d be able to help us out and we think we can help you out too,'” Allen recalled. “‘So is it a move you’d be interested in, and we’d be willing to have you here on our team?’ That’s kind of how it went.”

    Allen said his role with Montverde will be similar to that of playing alongside the Boozer twins and Florida commit Alex Lloyd on Nightrydas Elite.

    “Kind of a versatile guard,” Allen said. “Can be like on the ball a little bit, off the ball a little bit, being able to play to my strengths like getting downhill, trying to finish and getting fouled. But also being able to knock down easy shots.” 

    Teaming up with Allen at Montverde are several top players including class of 2025 top-30 prospect Hudson Greer, and two five-star prospects from the 2026 class in Caleb Gaskins and Kayden Allen.

    Allen on Greer: “He’s an uber-athlete, can also shoot really well too. And playing at Montverde, you also have to guard really well. I’ve been with him at like camps and it’s cool being around him so I feel like we’ll also be able to have a good dynamic. Also both being seniors, we both want the best for our team, the best for each other. So we’ll work well together I think.”

    Allen on Gaskins and Kayden Allen: “Those are guys who have been there at Montverde for a year already. So they know the works there even though they’re younger. They’re two really great players and are going to continue to improve under Montverde. And another things also is that they’re ready. It’s not like they’re juniors and you’re going to try and hold them for their senior year. They’re ready to play against whoever. And they kind of already know the ropes and what it takes to play at Montverde.”

    Montverde won Chipotle Nationals last season and have won the tournament now three times in the last four seasons. Allen certainly has his eyes on a repeat crown and four titles in five seasons.

    “That’s definitely the end goal when you’re playing at Montverde,” Allen said. “For me, it would mean a lot, you know what I mean. I’ve won a lot of things. High school state championships. Peach Jam (16u Nightrydas). So I think like a national championship would be like that last thing to kind of cross off as far as accolades and awards go for high school basketball.”

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