The speculation regarding guard Chris Allen's potential departure from Michigan State appeared to have reached a comfortable stasis. Tom Izzo never directly addressed the topic; his last comments about Allen came a month ago, before Izzo's dalliance with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Since then, Allen had registered to play in East Lansing's Pro-Am summer league, and it appeared he would be back in 2010-11. There was no news. Which, in turn, was good news.
Apparently, the ordeal isn't quite over yet. Via The Only Colors, Allen told a local reporter that he would be back next season. But Izzo seems less convinced.
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."
As Sampson noted, though, Izzo has long maintained that the decision wouldn't necessarily be left up to Allen. He reiterated as much to WLNS reporter 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
If this qualifies as news -- and I think it does, but just barely -- it's because Allen's situation appeared to have been settled. No one was commenting on his potential departure. Izzo hadn't issued any cryptic proclamations. Allen was playing summer ball with teammates, alums, and recruits, which is exactly the sort of thing he'd be doing if he wasn't transferring. Things seemed back to normal.
The idea that it's still up in the air has to be a little unsettling for Michigan State fans, some of whom gently corrected me after my last Allen post that Allen's departure wouldn't drastically hurt the Spartans' chances of returning to the Final Four in 2010. Offensively, Allen is just another cog in the Spartans' varied attack; his shooting is handy, but Michigan State could survive without it. Where Allen would be much more difficult to replace is his perimeter defense, which KJ at The Only Colors called "arguably be the hardest individual skill to replace on the current roster." Plus, no one wants to lose a starter-level upperclassman, no matter how many theoretical replacements he may have. Such losses are always bad for business.
Anyway, it appears Allen is back on board. He wants to be a part of Izzo's 2010-11 Spartans. The next step requires him to prove it to his coach.