How about a surprise positive twist for Illini fans on Signing Day?
Illinois announced the signing of four-star point guard Te'Jon Lucas on Wednesday, as Lucas was the only member of John Groce's 2016 class. That was until today when Groce announced that the Illini have also added 6-foot-6 wing Kipper Nichols from Ohio.
"He has joined us. We're looking forward to Kipper joining our team," Groce said. "He can play a lot of different positions. He can defend a lot of different positions. I'm most excited though about how much he loves to work. I think he's a guy that has exceptional upside as well."
Nichols began his official visit to Champaign on Oct. 25 in surprise fashion, and he has kept things hush over the last few weeks. Butler, Florida and Northwestern have also been in the mix. However, the Illini were able to close the deal over the competition.
Nichols averaged 10.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game on the EYBL circuit in 2014. He held offers from the likes of Butler, Clemson, Maryland, Nebraska, Northwestern and Xavier prior to his commitment to Tulane.
The Illini made it a point of emphasis to add more athleticism and defensive ability to the wing in this class to balance out the roster. John Groce and his staff accomplished that mission by officially adding Nichols on Wednesday.
Nichols will enroll for the spring semester and he is expected to be eligible in January 2017.
Stay tuned to IlliniInquirer.com for more Signing Day coverage!