Djimde makes it 7 for Illini, Jerrance HowardContinue reading.
3 Illini transferring, rather than sitting, makes sense
so it’s clear: There should be nothing disturbing about the announcement Friday
that three Illini players are transferring, rather than languishing on the
trio–sophomores Mike Shaw, from De La Salle, and Ibby Djimde, from West
Virginia, and redshirt freshman Devin Langford, from Alabama–were all recruited
by Bruce Weber and were not suited to Groce’s system.
like this sometimes cast coaches in a bad light. That should not be the case
here. There was a coaching change, and this is a tough business. More
importantly, it seems natural that talented young men would want to be
somewhere where they have a chance to fulfill their basketball dreams.
transfers mean Illinois is likely to be relying on five freshmen behind the
expected starters: returnees Tracy Abrams and Nnanna Egwu, sixth-man Joseph
Bertrand and Myke Henry, plus Drake transfer Rayvonte Rice.
that would probably have been pretty much the case even if Shaw, Djimde and
Langford had remained in the picture.
“Mike, Ibby and Devin are outstanding
young men who have always represented the University of Illinois in a
first-class manner,” Groce said in a statement. “We will help them in any we
can during this process to find the best fit, so that they are able to achieve their
goals on the basketball court and in the classroom.”
question, Groce and the program will benefit from having the opportunity to
re-deploy their scholarships. But this also gives the three players the chance
to do what they want to do. That wasn’t going to happen at Illinois.