Oklahoma sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak will complete the second half of his collegiate career elsewhere, head coach Lon Kruger announced on Tuesday evening.
“I met with Coach Kruger and he was understanding of my desire for a fresh start,” Hornbeak said in a statement. “I appreciate (assistant) Coach [Lew] Hill recruiting me, and all my teammates. That bond is strong. All the coaches are trying to help me get to wherever I want to go. I’m thankful for that. Everyone has been good to me.”
The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 5.1 points, 1.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 18.7 minutes per game during the 2013-2014 season.
Hornbeak was a four-star commit in the Class of 2012 according to Rivals and committed to the Sooners over offers from Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Louisville, Missouri, Pittsburgh, Texas and West Virginia.
He’ll have two years of eligibility remaining once he sits out the 2014-2015 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Oklahoma was 23-10 (12-6 Big 12) this past season, finishing second in the conference standings before being bounced early from the NCAA tournament by No. 12 seed North Dakota State. The Sooners will return four starters, including leading scorer Buddy Hield and top rebounder Ryan Spangler.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
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