AMES — Chris Allen thinks he can play in the NBA someday.
He thinks Fred Hoiberg and Jeff Grayer, Iowa State men’s basketball coaches and ex-pros, can help him get there. The former Michigan State guard announced Friday he would finish his college career in Ames.
“That was one of the major factors for me. That’s a long-term dream of mine,” Allen said.
Allen will redshirt this year and has only the 2011-12 season to play. He chose ISU over Texas-El Paso, his other top choice.
“It came down to picking the best spot for me and a place where I feel comfortable,” Allen told The Gazette Friday. “Coach Hoiberg’s experience in the NBA, as well as coach Grayer’s — both those guys played guard in the NBA. I definitely want to be a guy who does that.”
Allen’s now former coach, Tom Izzo, thinks he’s got the stuff to do it.
The 6-3, 205-pounder has improved his defense greatly while his offensive game has remained strong. Allen averaged 8.2 points a game last season and his 141 career 3-pointers ranks 10th all-time in school history.
“When I recruited him I thought he was a pro prospect and I still think he is,” Izzo said. “He’s actually a better athlete than I thought he was. With a year off I think he’ll turn out to be a heck of a player.”