Tom Izzo Sends Right Message by Cutting Ties with Chris Allen
The last year has been a wild ride for Chris Allen. Now, the journey is officially over—at least at Michigan State.
Spartans head coach Tom Izzo officially kicked Allen off the basketball team Tuesday, citing a myriad of issues which have become too big of a distraction for one of the nation’s elite programs.
Allen, who was the team’s best three-point shooter over the last couple seasons, was involved in many off-the-court incidents during the team’s last season. From rumors circulating about he and his teammates feuding to poor grades in the classroom, Izzo felt it was time to cut ties and move on.
“It was just not gonna work here for him,” Izzo was quoted as saying in the Detroit Free Press following his decision to release Allen. “He had his parameters and knew what he had to do. I gave him the chances to do so. He did a better job in some areas, but the standards are tougher for me. It’ll be good for him to take a year off and reassess some things, grow up and be more mature.
“It’s not just one thing. It’s not that he’s that bad of a kid. I think a lot of him and think he’s a hell of a player. It will definitely hurt us not having him.”
Allen’s release from the team finally puts an end to the discussion which has surrounded him, mostly due to his behavior away from the court. His play on the court wasn’t really up to his—or Izzo’s—standards, either.
With Allen now permanently out of the picture, what does it mean for the Michigan State basketball team?
For starters, the core of the team—Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers, Draymond Green, Korie Lucious—is still intact. With these players in East Lansing, the transition for players coming out of high school will be much smoother.
Speaking of high school, the Spartans got some great recruits in this year’s freshman class, especially Keith Appling and Adreian Payne. These two players will probably receive more playing time and, thus, have a better chance of succeeding.
Allen, like many young people, encountered some problems with which he just couldn’t deal. His issues don’t make him a bad person, but they do prohibit him from playing the game he was brought to Michigan State to play. It is Izzo’s team and, essentially, Izzo’s program. His track record speaks for itself.
It was a relationship which ended on the wrong note, but as time goes by, Allen will understand why the decision was made and he will have to live with it. Basketball is just a game, and as Izzo himself pointed out, this situation was about something bigger.
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