August 20, 2010
Come Monday morning, Chris Allen will be enrolled in school and begin his life as a Cyclone. The former Michigan State Spartan has chosen to to take his talents Iowa State, giving new head coach Fred Hoiberg an ace in the hole for his second season.
Because he's a healthy scratch from Michigan State's roster, Allen will have to go through the usual redshirt motions and sit out a full academic year before getting his chance at redemption.
Allen left his heart on his sleeve when FOXSports.com's Josh Herwitt reached him today and asked him about leaving his teammates and coaches behind in East Lansing.
"It sucks," Allen said. "I ain’t going to lie. I’ve been with these guys for three years. I feel like I’m a family member. It’s just a matter of me growing up. It was a mutual agreement for both of us."
Being emotional and straightforward is something Allen's been known to do; little doubt it's part of the reason he's no longer on Tom Izzo's team.
Allen was dismissed from the team two and a half weeks ago for reasons we may never know. There was a clash, and Izzo insisted Allen leave so the team could continue to jell and move forward in 2010-11. Allen did put out a press release through the MSU athletic department, and it reads:
“I’m excited to select Iowa State as the place to finish my college basketball career,” he said in the release. “I’ll miss Michigan State and all the people that have helped me and supported me over the last three years. My teammates and I achieved a lot together and I’ll take that experience with me to help my new team. I’ll be pulling for Michigan State next year and I know they’ll be cheering for me. Like all college kids, I have areas to grow. This has been a wake-up call for me, and one that will ultimately make me stronger as a player and a person.”
I get the feeling this wasn't easy for Izzo, that he doesn't ever enjoy when a player transfers from his program. It's almost like a small scarlet letter for him. But it happens with nearly every coach. In this case, moving on will probably be the easiest part.