Terrell Allen is quiet. Really quiet.
Quiet like you have to strain your neck to hear him talk from three feet away.
Quiet like he keeps his head down and tries to hide a grin when you ask him if his father, former Hofstra University great LeRoy Allen, tried to sway his college decision.
“Sometimes he says he doesn’t know who’s he going to be cheering for,” Allen said, chuckling.
Quiet like he won’t mention he was named the most valuable player on a team sporting a five-star recruit.
“He’s very soft-spoken,” junior Major Canady said of the Drexel University men’s basketball team’s lone incoming freshman. “When we’re in workouts, he doesn’t talk much. But he’s always working and he’s always listening to you.”
Don’t mistake his taciturnity for insecurity.
“He shows that confidence,” senior Tavon Allen said. “He doesn’t talk much, but he’ll let you know with his game. He’s going to surprise a lot of people, I think.”
The younger Allen, a point guard from DeMatha High School in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, will be the youngest Dragon this season on a team suddenly steeped in experience.
Initially thought to be stuck behind a two-horse race for point guard duty, Allen could end up seeing notable playing time on a team basking in the parity on its roster for the first time in a calendar year.
“Yeah, Terrell’s got a chance to play,” head coach Bruiser Flint said.
Flint is eyeing a return to shooting guard for sophomore Rashann London, who started all 30 games at point guard last season purely out of necessity. A dislocated ankle sidelined assumed starting point guard Canady for the entire year, and London was thrust into the role.
This season, Canady should be expected to step back into the point guard position, and Allen will likely be the second man up.
In Allen, Flint sees something he prizes at the point guard position: a pass-first player.
“He knows how to play the position,” Flint said. “He has a better feel for playing the point guard. I think guys will enjoy playing for him, because he can pass the ball. That’s the one thing you can really see. That’s why we recruited him.”
Allen said he’s a bigger fan of setting his teammates up than he is of taking shots himself.
“I just want to come in and try to make everyone better,” he said. “I want to get the ball to people in the right spots, and show my passing abilities and court vision.
“That’s how I like to play: make my teammates better, and then me second.”
When he had to score in high school, Allen gravitated towards mid-range jumpers. He averaged 7.5 points per game during his senior year, and he said he’s been working on improving his three-point shot this summer, among other things.
He said he also wants to get stronger; at six foot, two inches and 180 pounds, Allen is the smallest scholarship player on the Dragons’ roster.
In high school, he would hit the gym and lift weights just once a week. When he arrived in University City, that number was bumped up to three times per week.
“It’s tougher here in the weight room,” Allen said, “but it’s good for me.”
So far, his teammates have been impressed with the work he’s putting in to prepare for his first year of college ball.
“I like his work ethic,” Canady said. “He works really hard and never complains about anything.”
Of course, Allen working hard and not saying much isn’t a surprise. It’s actually kind of his thing.