There was little doubt Timmy Allen would return to the University of Utah for at least one more year.
Late Thursday evening, the All-Pac-12 wing made it official, taking to Twitter to announce he has removed his name from the NBA Draft underclassmen pool and will return to Utah for his junior season.
Allen’s decision comes 13 days before Utah, and the rest of Division I, can open mandatory summer activities on campus July 22.
The deadline for underclassmen to remove their names from draft consideration and maintain NCAA eligibility is Aug. 3, with the COVID-19 pandemic-delayed draft scheduled for Oct. 16.
The Salt Lake Tribune reported on June 5 that Allen was expected to return to Utah, but would continue to go through the draft process. The original withdrawal deadline was June 3, but with the pandemic leaving the NBA calendar uncertain, the NCAA moved the deadline back to Aug. 3.
Whether or not Allen will be back to campus by July 22 for the start of mandatory summer work is unknown.
“He’s been on every Zoom call, he’s been a great leader for us, pushing us forward in our group chat, too,” sophomore point guard Rylan Jones told The Tribune last month. “He’s continued to be a leader, working hard, showing us what we need to have this be a successful offseason. He’s been key for us. He’s been engaged and he’s trying to help make us better.”
In the face of the pandemic, this draft cycle has been unprecedented. In-person team facility visits and group workouts at facilities, both important staples in the weeks leading up to the draft, have been banned. Instead, decision-makers around the league have used Zoom and other electronic mediums as replacements to meet with prospects.
Allen, not projected to be drafted, but rather seeking feedback before returning to school, never met with an NBA team, his godfather, Ray Arvizu, told The Tribune late Thursday night.
After springtime defections by Both Gach (transferred to Minnesota) and Caleb Lohner (released from National Letter of Intent), Allen’s return to head coach Larry Krystkowiak’s lineup was critical. As a sophomore, Allen averaged 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, both team-bests, on his way to All-Pac-12 second-team honors.
Allen will slide into Krystkowiak’s lineup as the most-experienced piece, having played 60 games across two seasons. He, Jones, and sophomore center Branden Carlson are entrenched as starters, while there will be preseason questions to answer at shooting guard and power forward.