Allen earns conference awards

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Freshman forward Jarrett Allen was named to the All-Big 12 third team and all-newcomer team Sunday.

Allen was the lone representative for the Longhorns in this year’s All-Big 12 conference awards. Allen finished the regular season averaging 13.6 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. In Big 12 play, Allen averaged nearly a double-double—16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.

Allen is a projected first-round pick in a few NBA mock drafts. Following Texas’ 75-64 home loss to No. 11 Baylor in Saturday’s regular season finale, Allen was asked about his looming decision to either return for another year or pack his bags for the NBA.

“I’m gonna keep my options open,” Allen said. “I really haven’t made a decision right now. I’ll have to talk with my family about it.”

Head coach Shaka Smart was also asked point-blank if Allen had played his last home game at Texas.

“I don’t know,” Smart said. “It’s obviously a decision for him and his family to make after the season. I think he’s made a ton of progress. There’s a lot more progress that he can and will make. But I don’t know the answer to your question because that’s not up to me.”

 Allen’s decision to return to Texas for another season would be a huge boost for Smart. Texas currently has the No. 7-rated recruiting class for 2017, according to 247Sports. The class includes point guard Matt Coleman from Oak Hill Academy (Virginia), a notable addition that would immediately fill the Longhorns’ need for a true floor general.

Smart was asked what his pitch to Allen will be for coming back next season.

“My biggest thing that I’ll try to say to Jarrett, as well as anyone else in that situation, is just, ‘How can I help?’” Smart said. “I want to be a resource for him. These situations are family decisions, and that’s the way they should be. Any type of input or feedback that he or his family wants from me, I’ll provide that.”