Illinois lands grad transfer big man Adonis De La Rosa

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Illinois added some much-needed interior size on Monday afternoon as Kent State center Adonis De La Rosa announced his pledge to the Illini.

The 7-foot, 260-pound De La Rosa started his career with a redshirt year at St. John’s before spending his second year of college at¬†Williston State College. De La Rosa has spent the last two seasons at Kent State, as he averaged a solid 11.8 points and 7.6 rebounds per game on 56 percent shooting as a junior.

Since Illinois lost its frontcourt of Leron Black and Michael Finke from last season, the Illini were in desperate need of some experience on the interior as De La Rosa should be a nice option to plug into the middle. In a Big Ten conference that features physically-imposing big men like Michigan State’s Nick Ward and Ohio State’s Kaleb Wesson, Illinois needed someone to counter those bigger interior players.

One of the key things to watch for with De La Rosa will be his health.

During March, De La Rosa tore his ACL during the MAC Tournament and had surgery on the injury later that month. While most ACL injuries require 6-to-9 months of recovery time, it varies for everyone. De La Rosa will likely still be recovering and working through the injury through the summer in order to get ready for the season.