Hailing from Scarborough, Ontario, Vasean Allette, recognized for his outstanding scoring abilities and unwavering self-confidence, now finds himself back on the NCAA recruitment trail following his unexpected dismissal from the Old Dominion Monarchs men’s basketball team.
On the afternoon of Sunday, January 28, Old Dominion University (ODU) announced the departure of Allette, the team’s top scorer, citing “conduct unbecoming Monarch” as the reason.
Allette becomes the second player to exit the program this season, with Dericko Williams having departed on December 9th after a two-game suspension at the start of the season.
While the specifics of Allette’s dismissal remain undisclosed, it follows a series of unfortunate, unrelated events that began around 30 days ago at the 2023 Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii.
Intended as an early-season trip for team bonding and acclimatization, the trip took a sombre turn on December 20, 2023, when ODU’s head coach, Jeff Jones, suffered a heart attack.
This unfortunate event led to the promotion of longtime interim coach Kieran Donohue, ultimately resulting in the squandering of what could have been one of the best seasons by a Canadian freshman in NCAA history.
After recovering from his heart complications, Jones and the school announced on January 14th, 2024, that he would be taking a leave of absence for the rest of the season due to additional health issues.
Despite a string of six straight losses dating back to their lone win at the Diamond Head Classic, things seemed to be going well for ODU as they snapped their longest losing streak of the season by defeating Marshall 91-66 on January 18th.
After the game, Allette, who scored 27 points on 11-of-24 shooting and dished out eight assists, was quoted saying, “we’ve been kind of going through a little drought,” Allette said. “It’s been tough in the locker room, It’s been tough off the court.
A day prior, on January 17, in a featured story highlighting Allette’s scoring prowess, he seemed to fit right in as he mentioned, “Everybody’s kind of the same over here,” he said. “I don’t really feel too different or too left out. We’re all really close. We already have a lot of things in common.”
In the same article, Allette’s interim coach expressed satisfaction with the production from their star recruit.
“I think when we recruited him as a staff, we knew that he was very offensively talented,” acting head coach Kieran Donohue said. “We knew that he was a guy that could score the basketball, and he’s proven that he can do that. He’s a creative offensive scorer. So I think he’s proven to be as valuable as our staff expected him to be — or certainly hoped him to be.”
Friction between Allette and the newly-instated coach surfaced on Wednesday, January 24th, when the freshman guard, who had started the first 18 games of the season, came off the bench in a loss to James Madison.
Acting head coach Kieran Donohue, addressing the media after the 76-70 loss to Georgia Southern, made a brief statement on Allette’s absence, citing “conduct unbecoming Monarch.” He offered no further comment on the situation.
A formal announcement of Allette’s release came twelve hours later, prompting the talented Canadian player to post on X.com, formely known as Twitter, “The real know the real. God and the universe have my back.” 💯
Initially a top 150 recruit in 2023 and the Most Valuable Player of the BioSteel All-Canadian Game, Allette’s connection with recently signed assistant coach Jordan Brooks played a pivotal role in his decision to join ODU. The university secured his commitment as part of dual scholarship offers that also included his twin brother, Yamari.
“I feel like I’ve built a strong and stable relationship that consists of trust with the coaching staff at ODU. They will indefinitely take care of me and my brother,” Allette expressed regarding his choice of Old Dominion back in January 2023.
Prior to his commitment to Old Dominion, Allette held offers from high-major programs including Boston College, Georgia Tech, DePaul, St. John’s, and Arizona State.
Standing at 6-foot-3, the combo guard played a vital role for the Monarchs, ranking second in scoring in the Sun Belt Conference with an impressive average of 17.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.8 steals in 19 games. He showcased his skills by scoring in double figures in 17 out of 19 games and achieving a season-best, career-high 30 points against William & Mary in only his eighth collegiate game.
Vasean Allette’s average of 17.4 points per game places him as the fourth-highest scoring Canadian freshman of all time, behind RJ Barrett (22.6) during the 2018-19 season, Ernie Vandeweghe (20.2) in 1947-48, and Jamal Murray (20.0) in 2015-16.
The dismissal marks a significant setback for both Allette and the Monarchs, who have struggled this season with a 5-16 record, including a winless 0-8 on the road.
According to the 2023-24 BasketballBuzz Canadian NCAA stats tracker, Allette leads all freshman players in minutes, scoring, rebounds, and steals, making his dismissal from the Monarchs an unexpected and disappointing turn of events for both the player and the fans who had witnessed his promising start in collegiate basketball.
Expected to enter the NCAA transfer portal, Allette is poised to become a highly sought-after transfer, depending on the severity of his misconduct and dismissal. He has the potential to emerge as the top Canadian transfer for the upcoming 2024-25 NCAA season.