Big Ten

Austin Colbert no longer with Illini, will transfer

Big Ten

Illinois forward Austin Colbert is no longer with the program and will transfer, head coach John Groce announced Wednesday.

Colbert, who just finished his sophomore season with the Illini, made visible progress as last year progressed and gained playing time off the bench as the season marched on. He played in 25 games, averaging 1.7 points and 2.2 rebounds.

“After meeting with Austin, he and I agree that it is in his best interest to pursue a fresh start and continue his education and basketball career at another institution,” Groce said in the announcement. “We are appreciative of the effort Austin gave during his time at Illinois, and we will fully support him and his family throughout the transfer process.”

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“I’ve enjoyed my two years here and leave with a lot of great memories,” Colbert said in the announcement. “I want to thank my teammates, coaches, fans and the Orange Krush for all their support.”

Colbert will transfer once he completes his classes at the end of the semester, according to Groce's announcement. His departure is another loss for an already somewhat-shaky Illinois front court, which also loses Nnanna Egwu to graduation.

Colbert is the second player to leave the program since the beginning of 2015 for a reason other than exhaustion of eligibility. Guard Aaron Cosby, who had previously transferred in from Seton Hall, "parted ways" with the program in February. Cosby, along with Rayvonte Rice, was suspended indefinitely for an unspecified violation of team rules. Rice had his suspension lifted and returned to the team. Cosby was still suspended when it was announced he was leaving the program.