Chris Allen

Tom Izzo addresses comments by Korie Lucious, Chris Allen on their drug use

3 Comments

When Tom Izzo kicked Chris Allen and Korie Lucious out of the Michigan State program during the 2010-2011 season I bet he never thought that he would be spending time talking about the reasons for those dismissals as he helped prepare his Spartans, a consensus top three team, for the 2013-2014 season.

But thanks to a couple of confessionals, he has been.

Lucious said in an interview with blackathlete.net last week that it was weed that got him booted from East Lansing. “I was smoking I don’t want to tell a lot of people that but I was smoking a lot of weed at Michigan State,” he said. ” Thats the real reason I got kicked off the team and I let my mom, family and friends down.”

Allen came clean a couple of months prior to that, as he came clean about the reasons he was dismissed from the Spartan team, admitting his drug use in an effort to crush rumors that he had slept with a teammate’s girlfriend.

Allen, in part, wrote (sic): “to athletes who smoke WEED its not worth it, Yeah it makes you happy and forget all the BS you thought your coach was on with you but at the same time it’s a easy way to get you out of a respectable program and of course it’s deeper than just weed but that’s for me and the people that was at Michigan state those years to know.”

Izzo addressed those comments during an interview on “Mad Dog in the Morning” on 730 AM in Lansing, MI.

“I probably let them down,” Izzo said. “Everybody lets everybody down. But first of all, I thought it was ridiculous that now we’re reporting on websites, you know? I guess that’s the way it’s turned, that’s what I was told. But I didn’t talk to Korie. I talked to Chris a lot. Because Chris has left, he’s matured a little bit, he’s grown up and tried to come back and apologize for things.”

“[T]here are certain things coaches can’t say,” he continued. “There’s certain things that, coaches put up with a lot. Just like parents do. I mean, nobody throws their kid under the bus if he makes a mistake. But if the kid repeats the same mistake over and over, then it’s not a mistake, it’s a habit. When it becomes a habit, those things are hard to handle.”

(h/t Joe Rexrode)

Allen's out. Where's that leave Michigan State?

4 Comments

Michigan State’s primed for a run at the 2011 NCAA tournament title. But it’ll have to do without Chris Allen.

The 6-foot-3 guard — the Spartans’ best perimeter defender and a starter last season – won’t be back for his senior season after he failed to satisfy demands set forth by coach Tom Izzo from the past few months. He’d been on thin ice since the spring. According to Jeff Goodman, Allen’s the first Spartan dismissed during the Izzo era. The school released this quote from Izzo:

Otto Greule Jr/Getty

“It’s been no secret that Chris Allen’s been in a tenuous position since the spring,” Izzo said. “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 averaged 8.2 points, 2.0 assists, was their third-most efficient offense player and played 61.8 percent of MSU’s minutes last season. He also issued a perfunctory statement.

“Coach was straight-forward with me about what I needed to do to remain a part of the team. Unfortunately, I didn’t meet all the obligations,” Allen said. “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.”

There’s no word on where he’ll transfer.

As for the Spartans, they remain one of the elite teams for the 2010-11 season. They return major contributors in Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers, Draymond Green as well as key subs (now starters?) Delvon Roe and Korie Lucious. That’s still a Final Four-worthy group which will be bolstered by freshmen Keith Appling, Russell Byrd and Adreian Payne.

There’s a concern about perimeter defense (will Summers step into that role?) and some worries about the rotation, but things could be offset by the team chemistry. (Perhaps it’ll be similar to what Georgetown experienced last season when DaJuan Summers left early for the NBA.)

Perhaps Duke just became the lock-solid preseason No. 1. Perhaps Purdue just became the co-favorite to win the Big Ten. Perhaps.

But if I learned anything from the 2010 NCAA tournament, it’s that it’s stupid to underestimate an Izzo team, even when there are injury or depth issues. This team did reach the Final Four last season without Lucas.

Perhaps it’s a bit much. But I’ll bite.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.

Spartans still have Allen (for now)

Leave a comment

No new news on the Chris Allen front. Tough to say if that qualifies as good news, however.

A series of tweets compiled by KJ over at the Only Colors had these tidbits regarding Allen, a 6-3 guard who’ll be a senior this season if he decides to stay at Michigan State:

WILX’s Jeremy Sampson:
1. Chris Allen tells WILX today that “It’s all good everything is fine and this is just all rumors you heard it hear from me.”
2. It’s important to note that Tom Izzo said after the season that the decision might not be the players and we haven’t heard from Izzo on this subject.

WLNS’s Lisa Byington:
1. talked to #izzo on road recruiting. Izzo says “nothing has changed and (Allen) still has some things to prove both on & off the court”
2. #izzo stressed to me that Chris Allen’s status is still very much in limbo. and it will be izzo and not Allen who decides if he is on roster

Why all the attention to a guy who may not even crack the Spartans’ starting lineup next season? Well, as KJ points out, Allen’s one of the few – perhaps only–guys on the roster who’s capable of being a lock-down defender. And those players are crucial in the Big Ten (ask Purdue if it’ll miss Chris Kramer this season).

Even if Allen bolts, Michigan State will be among the serious contenders for the 2011 NCAA tournament title. But with him, the Spartans will push Duke for the preseason No. 1 ranking.

I’d say that’s worth a little obsession.

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.