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Garner’s Thomas Allen to join NC State basketball as transfer

Nebraska’s Thomas Allen (12) drives around Purdue’s Ryan Cline (14) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019.
Nebraska’s Thomas Allen (12) drives around Purdue’s Ryan Cline (14) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. AP

Thomas Allen is taking a second chance to play college basketball for N.C. State.

The 6-1, 184-pound guard from Garner has decided to transfer to N.C. State. He announced the decision on Twitter on Friday night. Under NCAA rules, without a waiver Allen will have to sit out the 2019-20 season but will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Allen wrote: “After talking with my family, I’ve decided to transfer to NC State to finish out my education and basketball career. Want to thank @CoachKeattsNCSU for the opportunity. Let’s Go!

Allen averaged 8.7 points and 2.0 assists in 29 games for Nebraska this past season. He started 25 games and averaged 30.1 minutes for the Cornhuskers, who finished the season in the NIT but fired coach Tim Miles.

Allen, who played at Garner High and for the Garner Road club team, had originally committed to play for N.C. State out of high school. A four-star recruit in the class of 2017, Allen had signed to play for N.C. State in the fall of the 2016-17 season under former coach Mark Gottfried.

When Kevin Keatts was hired to replace Gottfried after the 2016-17 season, Keatts gave Allen his release. Allen decided to go to Nebraska, where he was a role player as a freshman for Miles. He earned a starting spot this season but after a 19-17 finish, Miles was replaced by Fred Hoiberg.

The addition of Allen gives Keatts one open scholarship for the upcoming season. The status of freshman guard Jalen Lecque and junior guard Markell Johnson could change that equation.

Lecque, a fifth-year prep player, has submitted paperwork to enter the NBA draft. The school announced on Friday that Johnson would go through the draft process.

Both Lecque and Johnson have the option to return to N.C. State to play for Keatts next season.

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