The Illinois basketball team took a big hit to their roster depth and talent on Tuesday night.
Illini guard Alan Griffin took to Twitter to announce that he will be entering his name into the transfer portal. This comes as a huge shock to the Illinois fanbase considering how big Griffin was for this program during the season.
Griffin came into the Illinois basketball program as an underrated recruit out of New York. He was only the No. 185 player in the class of 2018 and the No. 41 shooting guard in the nation. But Brad Underwood and the Illini coaching staff saw something in this kid.
In year one with the Orange and Blue, Griffin didn’t get much playing time. He only averaged 8.1 minutes per game and in that time, he averaged 2.8 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. But year two was going so much better.
— Alan Griffin (@alangriffin_) March 24, 2020
As a sophomore, Griffin really started to blossom. He was such a big spark plug off the bench for the Illini. He was starting to play more than the actual starters despite him coming off the bench. This past season, Griffin averaged 18.1 minutes, 8.9 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. He was sensational.
It is hard to determine why exactly Griffin wants to transfer out of the Illinois basketball program. My best guess is that Ayo Dosunmu is coming back. That would mean the Illini starting lineup probably will consist of Ayo, Trent Frazier, Adam Miller and Andre Curbelo. You then mix in Kofi Cockburn.
That lineup doesn’t leave room for Griffin to start for the Illini. I would be he wanted a starting role, which is completely understandable, but he wasn’t going to get one. That is my best guess on why we received the news that he was transferring out.
Illinois should be okay despite Griffin departing. This is a blow to our depth, but the class of 2020 is solid, and this now opens another scholarship for the future. I wish Griffin nothing but the best moving forward.