Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Illinois junior Alex Legion to transfer

That's correct.

For the third straight season, Alex Legion will be playing just one semester at a school as he has officially decided to leave the Illini in the hopes of pursuing his basketball career elsewhere. Legion played in 10 of the Illini's 11 games this season, but got a grand total of eight minutes and three shots while going scoreless in the last two games, losses to Georgia and Missouri.

Alex Legion was a talent coming out of high school. A consensus top 50 recruit in the class of 2007 known for his ability to shoot and score from the wing, Legion committed to Michigan in November of 2005.

Alex Legion never could work his way into Bruce Weber's rotation.
(photo credit: Illinois Loyalty)

That's when the indecision started.

In April of 2006, Legion transferred to Oak Hill Academy, reopening his recruitment, only to recommit to the Wolverines just two months later. After signing a letter of intent with the Wolverines, he asked out of it when Tommy Amaker was fired with the '06-'07 season ended.

Legion eventually signed with Billy Gillispie at Kentucky, but lasted just six games there before deciding to transfer. He wound up at Illinois, where he played 22 games after becoming eligible at the semester break last season. But Legion never could work his was into Weber's rotation, averaging just 11.1 mpg last season, which dropped to 9.9 in his 10 games this year.

As far as next year is concerned, Legion may not have many options. If he transfers to an NAIA school, he will be eligible to play next fall. If he sits out two semesters, he will be eligible to play at the DI level at the semester break during the '10-'11 season. If he sits out three semesters, he will be eligible for the entirety of the '11-'12 season.

Do I even need to tell you that none of these options are all that appealing?

For starters, there is no way that Legion will go to an NAIA school. He is better off going pro and trying to latch on overseas somewhere.

Pro ball may actually be his only option. If you were a DI coach, would you want to use a scholarship on a kid that has twice transferred in the middle of a season? Remember, Legion has averaged just 3.8 ppg in 39 games over the course of three seasons, and will have just one semester of eligibility remaining if he sits out another full year.

Adding a player in the middle of a season is always a difficult task considering that the coach will have already gotten comfortable with a rotation and the players will have learned their role within the team. Is it really worth that risk for 20-some-odd games from Legion?

Someone hasn't be giving Legion great advice. But after reading this, are you surprised?

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