Senior Forward Alex Illikainen leaving Wisconsin program

AP Photo/Darron Cummings

When Wisconsin got up big against Coppin State Tuesday, coach Greg Gard emptied his bench with one exception. That player is no longer with the program.

Alex Illikainen, a senior from Minnesota, has elected to leave the Badgers, the school announced Wednesday.

The 6-foot-9 forward appeared in 85 career games for Wisconsin, averaging 1.5 points and 1.3 rebounds per game. He was a top-150 prospect coming out of Brewster Academy in the 2015 class. His role with the Badgers decreased every season after he averaged 9.8 minutes per game as a freshman. He did not play in Wisconsin’s season-opening 22-point victory.

“We wish Alex luck as he continues to pursue earning his degree from the University of Wisconsin in May,” Gard said in a statement. “We also want to thank him for his efforts during his three-plus years with our program.”

If Illikainen is able to graduate, he would likely be able to transfer and be immediately eligible for a final collegiate season.