It's official -- Tracy Abrams will return for another season with Fighting Illini basketball. The program has announced that the senior point guard has received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA. Injuries to Abrams' ACL and Achilles tendon have caused him to miss the team's last two seasons.
The four-time team captain averaged 10.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game when he last played in 2014. We'll have to wait and see if Abrams is capable of putting up such numbers again, but regardless, this is great news for a team that's struggled to find backcourt production in recent years.
Statement from John Groce
"I am so proud of the perseverance and determination Tracy has displayed through his injuries. We are looking forward to having him back on the court this season, setting the tone for our team with his leadership, toughness and competitive drive. There is no one more deserving of having a healthy and successful senior year than Tracy Abrams."
Projected Illinois Basketball Depth Chart
|Point Guard||Shooting Guard||Small Forward||Power Forward||Center|
|Tracy Abrams (SR)||Jalen Coleman-Lands (SO)||Malcolm Hill (SR)||Leron Black (R-SO)||Mike Thorne Jr. (SR)|
|Te'Jon Lucas (FR)||Aaron Jordan (SO)||D.J. Williams (SO)||Michael Finke (R-SO)||Maverick Morgan (SR)|
|Jaylon Tate (SR)||Kipper Nichols (R-FR)|
Note: the program still has one available scholarship for the 2016-17 season.
Assuming Abrams doesn't suffer any setbacks over the next few months, he'll likely be the starting point guard to begin the season. Joining him on the depth chart will be fellow senior Jaylon Tate and incoming freshman Te'Jon Lucas. It's possible that Lucas, who reported to campus on Thursday, could be vying for that starting slot by year's end