Illinois announces transfer of sophomore forward Austin Colbert

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After playing sparingly in each of his first two seasons as a member of the Illinois basketball program, sophomore forward Austin Colbert has decided to transfer. The program announced the news Wednesday evening.

“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,” Illinois head coach John Groce said in the release. “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.”

Colbert played in 25 games for the Fighting Illini this season, averaging 1.7 points and 2.2 rebounds in 7.6 minutes of action per contest. Colbert will have to sit out the 2015-16 season at the program of his choice per NCAA transfer rules, and he’ll have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

With Colbert transferring and Nnanna Egwu out of eligibility, Illinois has some spots to fill in its front court rotation heading into next season. Maverick Morgan will be a junior, while Leron Black and Michael Finke will both be sophomores. Also of note is the addition of Darius Paul, who returns to Illinois after spending a season at the junior college level.

Paul originally transferred in from Western Michigan but had to leave the program due to off-court issues, and he once again became part of Illinois’ plans once those issues were addressed.