Parade All-American Alex Legion signed with Kentucky on Tuesday to become the first high-profile recruit in the Billy Gillispie era.It seems that having Joe Crawford playing for UK seemed to influence the decision.
Legion, a 6-foot-5 guard from Detroit, also had been considering UCLA and Michigan. He signed with Michigan in the fall before changing his mind when the school fired Tommy Amaker as coach.
The commitment came the week after Legion and his mother visited the UK campus.
“They both just felt that was the place,” said Steve Smith, who coached Legion for Oak Hill Academy.
Legion will join a UK team that includes several veteran guards: seniors Joe Crawford and Ramel Bradley, plus sophomores Jodie Meeks, Derrick Jasper and Michael Porter.
“He’s not worried about playing time,” Smith said of Legion. “He said, ‘I just want to play for Kentucky.’
“He has no illusions of starting. He’s not been told he would start.”
A top-30 national prospect, Legion will bring a reputation for dead-eye shooting.
Smith noted that Legion needed to work on his ball handling but possessed the kind of work ethic to improve.
After noting Legion’s regular 6:15 a.m. workouts, the Oak Hill coach said, “He’s not going to be shocked when he gets to college with the running and conditioning. He’s used to it."
Williams also cited Kentucky senior guard Joe Crawford as a significant reason for the Kentucky decision. Crawford and Legion played for the Family AAU team in Detroit, and Williams said it will help Legion to have an older player he knows on the team.