It didn't take long for Teddy Allen to be convinced Wichita State is where he wanted to finish his collegiate basketball career.
After announcing last week he was transferring from West Virginia after his freshman season, Allen took an unofficial visit to WSU on Tuesday and committed to Gregg Marshall before he left Koch Arena. Allen is the final piece to an eight-man 2018 recruiting class for WSU, as he will sit out next season and be a redshirt sophomore for the 2019-20 season.
Allen was one of the top freshman in the Big 12 last season, averaging 7.0 points in less than 12 minutes off the bench for a 26-win West Virginia team that advanced to the Sweet 16. He scored 15 or more points in seven games.
"I think fans can look forward to someone who is going to play the Shocker way," Allen said. "I'm ready to play angry, and I'm ready to play hard. I've got a lot of passion for this game, and I'm just a dog. I'm going to get after it and hopefully fill it up."
Oregon, Alabama, Virginia Tech and Middle Tennessee State all reached out to Allen after he was granted his release from West Virginia. He said the only school he wanted to visit was WSU.
It wasn't a hard decision for Allen once he arrived in Wichita on Tuesday and met with the coaching staff.
"I really like the energy of the coaching staff, and coach Marshall's success speaks for itself," Allen said. "After talking with them, I felt like it was a really good fit, and I just like the feel of this place. It just feels like there's something special here at Wichita State."
Another benefit for Allen was WSU's relative proximity to where he played his high school basketball, in the Omaha suburb of Boys Town, Neb. He averaged 31.6 points his senior year and won the Nebraska Gatorade Player of the Year award in 2017.
Allen has some familiarity with another incoming WSU recruit, too, in Isaiah Poor Bear Chandler, who played against Allen in high school for Omaha Central. "That's my boy," Allen said, adding that the two connected while he was on his visit.
Missing an entire year of competitive basketball is a bummer, but it's a price Allen said he's willing to pay to go to a program he feels can develop him into an all-conference player.
Allen led West Virginia in per-40-minute scoring at 23.1 points, which would have been just a tick below WSU's team leader, Shaquille Morris, at 23.6. More impressive is that he did it without an effective jump shot. According to Synergy's shot-chart logs last season, Allen shot just 23.2 percent (13 of 56) on jump shots farther than five feet from the rim.
But that hasn't hampered his effectiveness, at least not yet. Allen excelled close to the basket, where he could finish over a taller defender on a driving layup or use his size advantage (215-pound frame) to bully smaller defenders with a slick array of post moves. Allen was able to generate 71 percent of his offense within five feet of the basket, where he made 56 percent of his attempts.
Allen already has a few things he wants to work on during his redshirt season.
"I really want to get more explosive and be able to guard the (guard) positions," Allen said. "But most importantly, I want to be a good teammate and a leader for my team.
"We're going to be a super-young team and they're going to be looking at us older guys as leaders. We're going to have to show them the right path to walk down, and hopefully they'll follow and we'll have some good times here the next four years."