Every Rose Has Its Thorne

Illinois notched a huge recruiting victory in landing Charlotte transfer C Mike Thorne.

With the graduation of senior center Nnanna Egwu and the transfer of sophomore Austin Colbert out of the program, Illinois was in dire need of a big man in the paint. In what was almost a "must-get" situation, the Illini had former Charlotte center Mike Thorne on campus this weekend, and sealed the deal with the 6'-11", 270 pounder.

Thorne, who averaged 26 minutes per game as a junior for the 49ers, shot 53.4% from the field, recording 10.1 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game as a junior.

One interesting stat on Thorne is that unlike past Illinois centers who have made a habit of shooting the three ball, Thorne has not attempted a single three in his entire collegiate career.

Thorne undoubtedly fills a big need in the post for the Illini for the upcoming season. He's a big body who eats up a lot of space and isn't afraid to throw his weight around. His post moves are still a bit raw, but his physicality and strength make him an ideal fit for a Big Ten program.

With the transfer of Austin Colbert, Illinois still has one remaining scholarship open for next season, and the Illini are looking at a couple different options for filling it. The one everyone has their eyes on is Chicago (IL) Morgan Park senior PG Marcus LoVett, who takes the ACT today and will likely take visits soon. LoVett is an electric ball handler and can score from every level of the court.

The other two options are senior transfers from the northeast. Cornell 5th year transfer Shonn Miller, a 6'-7" forward who was very productive last year for the Bears is considering the Illini among others. Also, Villanova redshirt junior combo guard Dylan Ennis announced his intent to transfer to another program and has met previously with Illinois head coach John Groce. Ennis, who had quite a game against Illinois in 2014-2015, would be a welcome addition as another ball handler, especially if LoVett ends up going elsewhere.

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