One of the top guards in the nation will be in Starkville next season as Mississippi State head coach Vic Schaefer signed Florida standout Jacaira “Iggy” Allen to a national letter of intent.
Allen, a Pompano Beach, Fla., native, earned four stars from ESPN/HoopGurlz, ranking No. 77 overall in the nation and the 18th-best guard.
“I’m very excited to be joining the Mississippi State family. I definitely think I have made the right decision because I feel Coach Schaefer and the other coaches will develop me to be a better player and person by the time I graduate,” Allen said. “They are veteran coaches who know how to win national championships. They can bring the best out of me and help me realize my goals of being a pro.”
The 5-11 guard, State’s top-ranked target in the Class of 2016, also ranked No. 60 by Blue Star Basketball and No. 66 by All-Star Girls Report.
“Coach (Elena) Lovato and my staff did a tremendous job recruiting Iggy, and we are very excited to have her joining our family at Mississippi State,” Schaefer, the 2015 SEC Coach of the Year, said. “She is an ultra-athletic, highly-competitive young lady who is physical and has a ready-made SEC frame.
“We couldn’t be more excited about getting a player who has learned under a Hall of Fame coach in Marcia Pinder, who has won nine state championships at Dillard High School. She also comes from a Miami Suns program that is one of the premier AAU programs in the country under Miguel Diaz. We are very fortunate to have a player the caliber of Iggy joining our program. I am proud of my staff and how we continue to recruit elite players to play in such an elite conference as the Southeastern Conference. We are excited about Iggy coming here and being an impact player for us.”
Allen caught the attention of colleges across the nation last season as she averaged 15 points and 12 rebounds per game while shooting 56 percent from the field to lead Dillard High School squad to a 30-1 record and the program’s ninth Florida 5A State Championship.
“Congratulations to Mississippi State. They are going to get leaps and bounds out of Iggy. She will give you the butter from the duck, which is one of our team sayings,” Pinder said. “She is really going to help the Mississippi State program tremendously. I’m proud of her and excited that Mississippi State is giving her this opportunity.
“One of my favorite qualities about Iggy is that she never likes to be late. Mississippi State fans will also love the energy she brings to the team. She has so much fire, and that’s big in basketball.”
The FABC First Team 5A All-State selection was named the Class 5A Player of the Year as she helped Dillard capture 21-straight wins and finish fourth in the nation according to USA Today.
“Iggy is a very tough, physical, aggressive basketball player. The energy she plays with is going to be perfect for coach Schaefer’s style,” Lovato said. “She is going to be a crowd favorite because she possesses a unbelievable motor and is always hustling and diving for loose balls. She is going to be special. We are very fortunate to have her become a Bulldog today. Her future is bright.”
Allen scored 14 points, 9 rebounds in the 5A state championship game. She was also tabbed MVP of the BCAA Big 8 championship tournament after tallying 21 points, 18 rebounds and 10 steals in a 47-34 win against Flanagan.
“Mississippi State is getting a relentless competitor in practice and in everything she does, and that transfers to her game,” Diaz said. “She’s a team player who wants to win. She is someone who wants to be great, and she’s going to a place that will enable that and help her realize her goals.”
Capturing the state title earned Dillard a spot in last April’s Dick’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals at Madison Square Garden in New York. Allen, the Sun Sentinel Class 5A-4A-3A-2A Broward Player of the Year, scored 11 points as the Panthers fell in the title game.
(From MSU Media Relations)