One slightly overlooked detail in the Tom Izzo-Chris Allen dismissal saga is just what Allen was going to do after he left the Spartans. Allen is a talented player, sure, but he only has one more year of eligibility remaining, and he'll have to sit out a year to get there. It's akin to driving eight hours in the car to spend one day on vacation. Nobody wants to do that. (Except your dad. Dads always want to do that.)
Still, Allen is a talented player. He's also a veteran. If you can recruit him for one year of eligibility, you probably should. Which is why it's no surprise that Allen's mother says her son's phone has been ringing off the hook. Or, more accurately, "blowin' up."
"The phones have been blowin' up," his mother, Janice Allen, told The Detroit News on Thursday. "He's definitely going to start soon at another school. There definitely won't be any relax time."
Ms. Allen gave the paper a list of schools that have already expressed interest. They include Notre Dame, Connecticut, Memphis and South Florida, among others. One of those others is Iowa State; CBS' Gary Parrish reported that Allen took a visit to Iowa State Monday. Janice Allen said her son will not transfer to a school in Michigan, and that he has no problem sitting out a year to fulfill his final year of eligibility.
Time is of the essence for Allen, as he has to enroll at another school this month to get in class in time to be eligible for the 2011-2012 season. All the interest makes sense: Allen is an elite perimeter defender and a good shooter with three years of tutelage under Tom Izzo on his resumé; even if he's only going to be there for a year, most coaches would probably prefer using a scholarship on Allen over anyone but the most elite of recruits. Ready-made contributors are very hard to find.
Oh, and speaking of Izzo, here's how popular Tom Izzo is: Despite her son's three years at the school, and his rather untimely dismissal, Janice Allen harbors no hard feelings toward Izzo himself. Rather, according to the Detroit News, she still holds the coach in "high regard":
"The (MSU) program is nice; I have nothing bad to say," said Janice Allen, who claims to still hold Izzo in high regard. "Everything is going great (academically). The decision was really sad but it was an enjoyable experience. You just live and you learn."
Whatever the reasons for Allen's dismissal -- which we don't really know, as Michigan State didn't disclose those reasons -- if anyone would have reason to harbor a grudge against Tom Izzo, it's the mother of a jilted player. And even she still likes him. Now that's popularity.