Izzo: "It’s been no secret that Chris Allen’s been in a tenuous position since the spring. There were multiple obligations that Chris had to meet in order to return for his senior season. While he did make progress through the summer, he has failed to meet all the obligations and will not be a part of our program this fall. I know he’s going to be a great player. He deserves another chance to play basketball somewhere, but it’s in everyone’s interest that it be somewhere other than Michigan State. Like every player, he has to mature a little bit. I think a year away from the game will be beneficial for his development as a person and a player."
Allen: "Coach was straightforward with me about what I needed to do to remain a part of the team. Unfortunately, I didn’t meet all the obligations. I have enjoyed my time at Michigan State and I appreciate all the support from my fans, and everyone associated with the program. It’s unfortunate things didn’t work out, but I’m leaving on good terms with my teammates and coaches."
This whole situation remains exceedingly odd. It still remains completely unclear, based on published reports, exactly what obligations Allen has been failing to meet. (And, until we get published reports, if we ever do, let's continue to keep the speculation in the comments section to a minimum.) Given the way Allen buckled down and seemed to buy into Tom Izzo's system last season--becoming the team's best perimeter defender and a more selective, efficient shooter--it was apparently all about off-the-court issues. And, despite recent comments from Allen that indicated he thought he was meeting those off-the-court obligations, evidently he wasn't.
So much for my theory, espoused just yesterday, that Izzo has merely been holding Allen's feet to the fire.
Initial thoughts on the impact going forward:
- Korie Lucious is now basically a starter.
- Keith Appling should come ready to play.
- Both those things will probably work out OK on offense.
- Durrell Summers needs to think about adding "defensive stopper" to "prolific scorer" on his basketball resume'. Not to put any pressure on him or anything.
- The loss of Allen is overcomeable, but it definitely puts a crimp in MSU's style. Having four experienced perimeter players for three spots on the floor would have been a major asset, particularly in light of Izzo's historical success when he's been able to unleash a deep rotation on the floor to play his brand of high-intensity, and sometimes high-tempo, basketball.
- If you're looking for a silver lining, there's this (from last year's State News basketball reporter).
Bottom line: We're probably still a top-3 team on paper, but the paper just got a little thinner. More later.