Shaw Commits to Bradley

Coach John Groce is helping recent transfers find the right opportunity.

CHAMPAIGN - Mike Shaw, Devin Langford and Ibby Djimde will no longer suit up for the Illini, but coach John Groce said Tuesday each will remain a part of the Illinois family and his own family.

Each player was granted a release from the school last week. Shaw has already committed to Bradley, while Langford and Djimde are still considering their options.

"It's hard. I love all those guys, I want to help all those guys," Groce said. "I think the world of all three of them. We're going to do everything we can to help those guys find the best fit for what they want. That's our job."

Shaw, a sophomore forward from Chicago, saw time in 14 games last season, highlighted by 19 minutes, two points and three rebounds against Wisconsin in January. He didn't play in the team's final nine games.

A native of Huntsville, Ala., Langford averaged over four minutes while appearing in 22 games. A 6-8, 245-pound sophomore, Djimde played in 11 games, scoring two points.

"We're in that mindset and mode as a staff where we're going to help every guy to the best of our ability that we can to get what they want and find a great fit," Groce said. "That's true of all three of those guys."

By season's end, many speculated Shaw and Djimde would move on, but Langford's release caught some off guard. He redshirted in 2011 and flashed potential last season while playing limited minutes. While Langford's defensive and rebounding ability provided for the idea he could one day grow into a bigger role, Groce wasn't one of those caught off guard by his decision to seek other opportunities.

"I wouldn't say surprised," Groce said of Langford before moving the conversation back to the trio in general. "All three of them played their role this past year really well. Sometimes guys want bigger roles. That doesn't make them less of a person or student. Those three guys are terrific in both those areas.

"Obviously the biggest thing with us is not dwelling on the past or looking in the rear view mirror, but hey, this is what they want. We want to help to get them where they want to go. We want them to be successful."


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