After his second journey through the recruiting process, former Meadowcreek star Chris Allen has a new college basketball team.
The 6-foot-3 guard plans to enroll at Iowa State after playing his first three seasons at Michigan State and contributing for back-to-back Final Four teams. Michigan State announced earlier this month that Allen would not be back for the 2010-11 season.
Allen will have to sit out the upcoming season because of the transfer, but then will be a senior for head coach Fred Hoiberg and the Cyclones for the 2011-12 season. He also considered interest from UTEP, St. John’s and Syracuse, among other schools.
“Just talking with (Hoiberg), I could tell he really knows a lot,” Allen told CycloneSportsReport.com on Friday. “He’s a guy who played in the (NBA) for close to 10 years and he even told me how he wasn’t the tallest or fastest guy but he just knew how to play to stay in the league that long. That’s my goal, to play in the league, and I think he will really help me try to accomplish that goal.”
Allen started 27 games last season for Michigan State, averaging 8.2 points and leading the team in made 3-pointers. The finish of his season was full of drama, with his well-publicized disagreement with Spartan head coach Tom Izzo leading to a suspension for the Big 10 Tournament.
He returned for the NCAA tournament, but the two sides parted ways during the summer.
“Chris and Coach Izzo have been having (issues) off and on and Chris has been battling that,” said Billy Davis, Allen’s high school coach at Meadowcreek. “He fell in love with (Michigan State) in 10th grade and that was his dream. But you know Chris. He’s a creator and Coach Izzo made him a spot-up shooter. That’s not his style, so sometimes your dream school can become your nightmare.
“I think he found the right place (Iowa State) to get back to playing his style of game.”
Izzo released a statement wishing his former player the best.
“The Iowa State program and Fred Hoiberg are getting a great addition to their team,” the coach said. “Chris Allen is a good kid and will be a great player and a pro prospect for the Cyclones. A year away from basketball and a fresh start will be beneficial for his development as a player and a young man.”