The Myke Henry Mystery was solved this week when we finally found out that the rumors about Myke Henry transferring were no longer just rumors. Myke Henry is transferring. But now that the Myke Henry Mystery has been solved, there's another mystery surrounding the Illini basketball team.
The Ahmad Starks Mystery.
There had been rumors at the end of April and in early May that both Ahmad Starks and Darius Paul would be transferring to Illinois. The Darius Paul transfer became official shortly after, as it was announced on a Saturday night while I was busy taking advantage of an open bar at a wedding. But what about Starks?
Starks, a Chicago native who went to Whitney Young, was actually visiting Champaign the day before Paul came to town, and that's when things got kind of weird. Mike Basgier, Illinois basketball's strength and conditioning coach, tweeted out a welcome message to Starks the night of his visit. A tweet that was quickly deleted by Basgier with a follow-up tweet saying he'd made a mistake.
A follow-up tweet that has also been deleted.
Of course, the speculation about why it wasn't official yet centered on whether or not Starks would receive a waiver from the NCAA that would allow him to play this season. The reason Starks is leaving Oregon State is so that he can be closer to home to his ailing grandmother, and the thought is that if Starks has to sit out the 2013 season and has to wait until 2014, the Illini won't be interested. Particularly if they can use that scholarship on an incoming freshman like JaQuan Lyle.
The Illini could use Starks this season, but with Aaron Cosby becoming eligible in 2014, there's not much need for him on the roster then.
But this was before all the Myke Henry rumors really began to surface. Now that Henry is gone there's once again an open scholarship for the 2013 season. And now that the scholarship is open, is it possible that we'll be learning Starks' fate soon?
I mean, given Basgier's tweet on May 1, whether he should have tweeted it or not, it seems fairly obvious that Starks wants to come to Illinois if he can, and now there's an open scholarship for him. You also have to think that if John Groce and company are waiting on word of Starks' eligibility before making the announcement, they should be finding out soon enough.
Though with the NCAA, I guess you shouldn't assume anything when it comes to things being handled in a timely matter.
Still, it'd be nice to head into the summer knowing exactly what the Illini roster will look like next season. So hopefully this mystery is solved soon.
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