The Illini might have found a solution to a frontcourt full of question marks.
Mike Thorne Jr., a Charlotte graduate transfer, announced via Instagram on Saturday morning that he has committed to Illinois.
— Derek Piper (@DerekPiperBSH) April 18, 2015
[MORE BIG TEN: Austin Colbert no longer with Illini, will transfer]
Thorne, who's 6-foot-11, spent three seasons at Charlotte. This past season he averaged 10.1 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for the 49ers. He led the team in rebounding and ranked second with a 53.4-percent shooting mark from the field.
It's a big acquisition for the Illini, who seemed to be in some desperate need for some big-man help after the graduation of Nnanna Egwu and the departure of Austin Colbert. Even this past season with Egwu, the Illini struggled to produce much in the way of points from the forward position.
Thorne joins what projects to be a frontcourt of Leron Black, who had strong moments as a freshman this past season, and fellow transfer Darius Paul. The addition of the two transfers should transform the Illinois big-man unit.
A graduate transfer, Thorne will be immediately eligible with one year of eligibility remaining.