Legion leaves Illini

Legion leaves Illini

Remember when Legion joined the Illini? We do.

Alex Legion, expected to give Illinois a lift when he transferred from Kentucky, is leaving Bruce Weber's program.

The school made the announcement Tuesday.

"Alex is a good kid who faced a difficult situation in returning to the court last year at semester break," Illinois  coach Bruce Weber said in a release. "He worked hard during his time here and gave great effort. We wish him the best and we'll do whatever we can to help him in his transition."

Legion played in 33 games at Illinois, averaging 3.2 points. This season, the guard averaged 2.7 points in 11 games.

His first season at Illinois was difficult. After he became eligible at the semester break, Legion's struggles included 28 percent shooting — 24 percent from three-point range — and seven games with more turnovers than field goals. It seemed like each missed jumper was magnified by the lofty reputation that preceded him.

 "It's hard at this level — this is D-I basketball — to come into the middle of the season and right away start playing," Legion said last season. "You've got systems, chemistry, and it's about winning games at this level. You can't sacrifice one player for the team. No one player is bigger than the team at this level.

 "So I totally understand people have doubts. I don't make any excuses. Last year is in the past, and hopefully this year I can go out there and show what I can do."

Legion averaged 9.9 minutes this season.

"I appreciate the support from the U of I fans, my teammates and coaches," Legion said in a release.. "I look forward to the next step in my collegiate career."






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PeterE wrote on December 29, 2009 at 1:12 pm

.. Carlwell, Smith, Legion . . is this a trend or actually normal for good college basketball teams. Just hate to see good to great potential go to waste at U of I due to lack of development, good coaching, leadership and involvement. Good luck Alex!

toddalan1975 wrote on December 29, 2009 at 1:12 pm

This is too bad too, this is why i hate and dont put too much reliability into high school player rankings! This kid was highly recruited and highly thought of out of high school and just cant cut the mustard!

I could tell though if you watch footage of when the team is doing pregame celebration to get fired up, he isnt as into it as everyone else.

Good luck alex! hope you can catch on somewhere!

OrlandoIllini wrote on December 29, 2009 at 1:12 pm

We haven't seen 'good to great potential' turned into actual achievement by any of those three players at any of the colleges where they've played. For all who do achieve, there are many, many more who do not. It's an individual matter more than it is an institutional issue. D-1 ball is rarified air, and most cannot thrive in it. We wish all of them well.

--Orlando Illini

tb wrote on December 29, 2009 at 2:12 pm

I have no clue why Cole,Sem. or Simpson stay they never get to play. Why take the beating and all the extra work and not play. You know real quick if you are going to play for Weber. Cause he forgets you real quick if he doesn't like you. I can't say if this kid can play or not. I haven't seen enough of him. How much of this is Snacks going to take. He has already had offers. Man if he leaves Weber is done. Probably should be looking for the signs right now. I'm really afraid for Griffey he doesn't play either. Did I mention the team stinks and they still don't get to play.

CecilColeman wrote on December 29, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Yet another reason not to put too much stock in to what all of the so called (and subscription-selling) recruiting analysts have to say.

First Kentucky and now U of I. "Strike two on Alex....."

bourbonrich wrote on December 29, 2009 at 3:12 pm

I feel bad for Alex. He would have been far better off to wait until this fall instead of coming back in the middle and now he is doing it to himself again. has to be headed to D2 or NAIA to avoid another year of sitting. It does solve the over schollie issue.

inilli wrote on December 29, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Smith, Carlwell and Legion would more accurately be described as Great to Good. Saw Carlwell play at ASU a couple of weeks ago, comes off bench and lays around the paint with his hand up. No real moves or threat. Carlwell and Smith both left the BB program around the same incident ... and it wasn't because of development.

illinilove wrote on December 29, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Good luck Alex, wish you well in all future endeavours. It was sad to see Carwell go and now Legion? What is wrong with this program? It sad that the program was in such shamble that we where counting on one young man to save us. All of this after a chance at a National Championship. Bring back D. Williams as coach!

dave1956 wrote on December 29, 2009 at 3:12 pm

I would have left too. He was getting about the same amount of playing time as Bubba Chisholm.

He must have only played 2-3 minutes a game.

TOO bad Jamar Smith couldnt stay away from the bottle. He would have looked good here.

At least this opens up 1 more scholarship.

Jam wrote on December 29, 2009 at 8:12 pm

D1 ball is different than high school. One dimentional players either accept their low minutes or else are so overpowering in what they do that they cannot be kept out of the mix. If you are a shooter then you need to make baskets. Everyone needs to find their niche and for some it takes longer than others. There have been many others like A. Legion on many different teams over the years. I hope that he is able to find his niche as soon as possible and live a long and successful life.