With the prestigious Hoophall Classic rolling through Phoenix, Arizona earlier this month, Pro Insight was on hand to catch all of the top teams and prospects in attendance, one being AZ Compass Prep (AZ) wing Marcus Allen. Allen, who hails from Miami and played at Norland Senior High School (FL) his first two years, moved west last fall to join a deep program that includes Mookie Cook, Zayden High, Rayvon Griffith, Pharaoh Compton, Jordan Ross, and VJ Miller, among many other players. Playing in the prestigious NIBC, the 6’6” Allen is a plug-and-play option with a defense-first mentality, leveraging his length and physical tools as a point of attack and perimeter defender. At Hoophall West in two games, the junior registered an efficient 7.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks on 71% from the field in 20 minutes of action per game.
As part of the Pro Insight Q&A series, Allen discussed his incredible physical measurables, transitioning to AZ Compass, making adjustments to his game, the importance of his faith, giving back to others, and more.
For the next installment of the Pro Insight Q&A series, we present 2024 prospect Marcus Allen, from Miami, Florida:
Pro Insight: First off, people talk about you having huge hands — is that true?
Marcus Allen: Yeah they’re pretty big (laughs).
PI: Have you ever measured them in terms of size?
MA: Ohh no, I haven't actually. Yeah I haven't measured it…well I actually did at the Team USA Camp. I just don't remember the measurements and stuff, but all I know is they're pretty big, though.
PI: Would you say you always had big time measurables growing up?
MA: Ever since I was a baby, I have always had big feet, long arms, big hands. Everything about me was just huge so I appreciate my mom and dad for that.
PI: What is your shoe size?
MA: Right now, we're 16 to 17.
PI: Do you know your wingspan?
MA: Wingspan, I know it's about 6’11”.
PI: Talk a bit about the move to AZ Compass Prep — how has it been so far?
MA: I mean coming back from my old school, it was a very big transition at first, because I'm kind of really far from home. So coming here, I knew I was gonna get better and I knew I was gonna play with other four and five-stars, as well. So I knew that was gonna be a big thing for me and being on this platform has really helped me a lot.
PI: How have you adjusted your game to this team?
MA: Coming back from my old high school, I was mainly the person that takes all the shots, but coming here, I knew I had to have a role so I kind of embraced the defensive role, guarding the best player on the opposite team. So I feel like that's kind of my role on this team. That's how I could impact the game and impact winning.
PI: For those who didn’t watch our first interview with you or just those generally unfamiliar, how did you get to where you are today?
MA: So I actually started playing football at a young age. Well I played football and basketball as a dual-sport athlete until I was 12 [years old] and I kind of made the decision around 12, 13 years old that I'm gonna take basketball seriously. That's when I started getting into the AAU world. I played with Florida United and then with the local teams in Florida. And then that's when everything kind of happened.
PI: Any other athletes in the family?
MA: My dad. My dad played football.
PI: For those who haven’t seen you play, yet — what are your greatest strengths and playstyle?
MA: I'll say my game is very based on defense. I say I'm very much a two-way player, similar to Kawhi or OG Anunoby from the Raptors. I say that that's my player comp because I take defense very seriously and my defense opens everything else from my offense, as well.
PI: What do you feel you still need to improve on the most? What have you been working on?
MA: Just getting my ball handling better and just getting my shot more consistent and being able to shoot off the bounce and stuff like that.
PI: What is your recruitment update? Who have you been hearing from the most, lately?
MA: Arkansas, Missouri, Florida State, Miami, Michigan, South Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Texas A&M, and Oregon. Oregon has come [to watch]. Those are the ones I can remember off the top of my head.
PI: Which schools are you hoping to visit in the near future?
MA: I mean, a lot of schools have recruited me, so I just have to sit down with my mom and just see what are the best schools for me long term to take the visits. Because honestly I wouldn't be wanting to take all those visits because they're very time consuming and I just wouldn't want to do that, so I'll just have to talk to my mom and narrow down the list to see what schools I would like to visit.
PI: Besides your mom, who are you seeking guidance from throughout the process?
MA: Yeah, so I'll say my coach, Coach Gibson and also God as well. Those three people in my life have been really here to help me. Anytime I need to talk, I always talk to Coach Gibson, especially about anything: recruiting, life, life after basketball, just life in general — he's always there for me.
PI: If you weren’t pursuing a career as a professional hooper, what do you think you would choose to do?
MA: I feel like I'll go into journalism. I'm very good at talking in front of the cameras or in front of a mic like I’m doing now. I'll say journalism because I like to talk about things, especially things I like.
PI: What are your biggest interests outside of basketball?
MA: Biggest interests…I love music. All types of music. That's my biggest interest, yeah.
PI: Who are your favorite music artists?
MA: NBA YoungBoy, Rod Wave, Kodak, Drake, and I'll say Bryson Tiller, too.
PI: You have one hashtag to describe yourself. What is it?
MA: #GodsPlan, because everything about me is God's plan.
PI: How important is your faith to you?
MA: So back at home in Miami, I'm very involved with the church. I always give back and volunteer. I recently just got baptized not too long ago in October, so that was a very big step for me. But yeah, faith is very important to me and my mother's life and just all my family's life. That's what helped me get to this point I am now.
PI: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
MA: Best piece of advice is “life is not a race, it’s a marathon so just keep going and take the good with the bad, as well.”
PI: Name four words that best describe you.
MA: Outgoing, faithful, charismatic, and smart.
PI: At the end of the day, what do you hope to be remembered for?
MA: As a player, somebody that's always going to compete whether my team is winning or losing. Somebody who is always going to play hard on the floor. And as a person, someone that has always just been there for somebody. Always happy, outgoing, smiling. Someone like that.