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Elijah Clarance leaving Illinois State to turn pro

MVC Basketball Tournament - Championship

ST. LOUIS, MO - MARCH 4: Head coach Dan Muller of the Illinois State Redbirds directs his team against the Loyola Ramblers during the Missouri Valley Conference Basketball Tournament Championship at the Scottrade Center on March 4, 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

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Illinois State will be short a player for the 2018-19 season, as it was announced Tuesday that 6-foot-4 guard Elijah Clarance has decided to forego his final three seasons of eligibility and turn pro.

A native of Sweden, Clarance’s decision comes on the heels of a very good performance for his nation’s Under-20 team during this summer’s FIBA U20 European Championships. In seven games Clarance averaged 22.4 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game, leading the tournament in scoring.

Dealing with injuries for a portion of the 2017-18 season, Clarance appeared in 21 games for the Redbirds and averaged 2.7 points and 1.3 assists in 11.1 minutes per game. Losing Clarance gives head coach Dan Muller one less option on the perimeter in 2018-19, but by no means is the cupboard bare.

With Illinois State returning its top four scorers from last year’s 18-win team, including double-figure scorers Milik Yarbrough, Keyshawn Evans and Phil Fayne, the Redbirds are capable of challenging reigning Missouri Valley champion and Final Four participant Loyola this season.