Illinois Basketball: Mike Thorne a Target for Groce

Illinois basketball has another transfer that they are targeting and this time it is big man Mike Thorne.  He is a center that is coming from the Charlotte 49ers and many teams are vying for his services.


Thorne will have one more year of eligibility and will actually be able to play right away.

In his final season with Charlotte, Thorne really impressed people and that is why he is a coveted transfer that many top teams are after.

With his size, standing at 6’ 11” tall, he could make an impact on many teams.  He averaged 10.1 ppg last season and added in another 7.3 rpg.

John Groce clearly wants this big man because he has the size to be a game changer underneath the rim.  Groce already has visited Thorne and the center is also going to visit the campus on the weekend of April 17th.

The past history of Groce transfers makes me want the Illinois basketball team to stay as far away from them as possible.  Rice was a bust, Cosby was a bust, and Starks was a bust.

Illinois does need one of their centers to step up and take charge underneath the rim though.  Nanna Egwu is now departed from the team which has its pros and cons.

Illinois is now left with Maverick Morgan who was less than stellar last season but you never know how he will improve.  There is also a wild card that the Illinois basketball team has in Michael Finke as well.  He is a 6’ 10’ redshirt freshman that could make a big impact on the team in 2015.

We have some depth at the center position but no one really knows to what skill level that depth can perform.

As I continue to look at what Thorne has done in his college career it really has not impressed me whatsoever.  He had 7.3 rpg last season in the Conference USA that only put one team in the NCAA Tournament.

With his size he should be able to pull more rebounds down in that bad of a conference.

If you also look at his games against some bigger Division 1 schools he didn’t fare so well.  They had a back-to-back series with Miami earlier in the season where he only pulled down a combine 11 rebounds.

Charlotte also played Georgetown and Georgia Tech and both times he failed to hit 9 rebounds.

While Thorne looks like a great addition for Illinois basketball on paper he may not be a superstar.  If he decides to come to Illinois, okay, but if he doesn’t I think the team will be just as good without him.