Last November, the Rivals.com No. 18 recruiting class committed to Michigan on the first day of the early signing period.
But the trio of Alex Legion (four stars), Manny Harris (four stars) and Kelvin Grady (three stars) made for just a flash-in-the-pan buzz.
Legion decommitted in favor of Kentucky after Tommy Amaker’s firing, and the Wolverines left Rivals.com’s top 30.
The Wolverines have never been ranked in any of the top classes Rivals.com has listed (2003-2008).
Now, there’s more movement among this year’s original class. Legion, who was averaging 6.7 points in 17 minutes per game and had played in all six of the Wildcats’ games, including starting two, decided to transfer Monday night.
“It’s unfortunate and not what I wanted to hear, but I understand,” Wildcat coach Billy Gillispie said through the Kentucky Athletic Department. “We met with Alex and his mother Friday, and she informed us of her desire to seek a release for her son. Shortly after that meeting, Alex told me that he still wanted to be a part of our program. He played in the game against North Carolina Saturday and seemed happy when I spoke with him Sunday.”
It’s ironic that Legion’s mother, Annette, could be the driving force behind her son’s transfer given her comments just a few months ago.
“I had no clue Kentucky was a basketball school, no clue,” Annette told the Lexington Herald-Leader in September. “But God knew. . Me being a prophet, he has truly ordered my son’s steps. . I’m a prophet . someone who can prophesize about your future and what’s going on in your life.
“The Lord has shown me: They’re going to the Final Four . providing they play together. . I have spoken these things into existence. . It’s not by accident that my son is here and now the Final Four is in Michigan.”
Rumors have swirled about Legion, an Inkster native, considering the Maize and Blue again. But there is a question of whether Legion, who decommitted twice from Michigan and has a bit of a reputation of being a team cancer, would be welcomed back by Michigan coach John Beilein and the Wolverines.
Legion would fit well on the court with the other two-thirds of the original class, Michigan’s current starting backcourt.
Harris leads the team in points (16.6), assists (3.1) and steals (1.9) and is second in rebounds (4.3). Grady averages seven points per game and has a team-best 2.6 assist-to-turnover ratio.
“I think Manny Harris and Grady, the two freshmen kids, are going to be tremendous,” said Amaker, who recruited the pair, after his Harvard squad beat Michigan. “I think you see the impact of a Manny Harris, how good he’s going to be, and how good he is. He’s fearless, and he’s a leader.”
But for the Wolverines (3-5), it’s obvious Harris and Grady will need help as the program goes forward. Legion’s ability to drive and shoot the 3-pointer would open things up for Harris and Grady in Beilein’s offense.
“I want to bring the tradition back,” Legion said last winter when committed to Michigan. “I think that’s why (Manny and I) decided to stay in the state – to bring Michigan basketball back to the top.”