A phone call yesterday morning gave Alex Legion the news he had been waiting to hear. After informing new Michigan basketball coach John Beilein of his desire to be released from his letter of intent a little over a week ago, his high school coach's wife let him know that his wish had officially been granted.
“I was told about 11:00 am (Monday) morning by Mrs. (Steve) Smith," Legion told GoBlueWolverine last night. "She told me that I had been granted my full release."
It became clear very shortly after the firing of former Michigan headman Tommy Amaker that Legion would very likely be headed down the path that he is on now. Amaker's absence, followed shortly by the departure of Mike Jackson, caused Legion to want to reexamine his options.
“When Coach Amaker and Coach Jackson were fired it opened things back up and I started thinking about maybe going somewhere else," Legion explained. "Me and Coach Amaker were very close. He was a coach that I really bonded with. When he was fired I began to think about starting the process over again."
Legion had always been intrigued by the prospect of playing out of state, but Amaker was able to convince him that Ann Arbor was a place that he could achieve all the goals he had set for himself. That tight relationship between coach and player stacked the deck against whoever was charged with taking over the program at Michigan. Beilein made an impressive pitch to the talented wing and the addition of Jackson further piqued Legion's interest. Still, neither development had the impact on Legion that they did on Corperryale Harris.
“Coach Beilein is very knowledgeable about the game and he is very energetic," Legion said. I spoke with him recently and it went well. Coach Beilein understood I wanted to look at my options. He was very supportive of me and knows I am still interested in Michigan."
The question to ask now is, is Michigan still interested in Alex Legion? Publicly the answer is yes. He is an in-state talent that they would love to have on their team. Privately you have to wonder if they aren't just ready to move on. This process had been dragging on far too long and it was time for a decision to be made. With Beilein's decision to release Legion, it appears that he is ready to seriously explore other options.
With regard to Legion's options, his new list is a veritable who's who of college basketball. In no particular order he is now considering Kansas, Connecticut, Kentucky, UCLA and Michigan. Legion indicated that he is looking at schools where he can play right away and make it to the title game.