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Goodbye to the Seniors

AJ made his mark again on Thursday.

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Just like every hooper knows you have to make your last shot before leaving the court, every college basketball player wants to end their career with a win at home. Unfortunately for Illinois’ three seniors, that isn’t the case.

The Illini fell to Indiana, 92-74, on Thursday night at the State Farm Center, closing the final chapter on Aaron Jordan, Adonis De La Rosa and Drew Cayce’s careers in Champaign.

“There’s a reason senior nights are hard,” said Illinois Head Coach Brad Underwood. “Aaron [Jordan] will always have a special place for me... Drew [Cayce] is a guy that’s a coach wearing a uniform. He’s popular with our guys. Those two have been a big part of the culture of our locker room being established.”

Despite limited action on Thursday, expect to see a lot more of Cayce in the coming years. The walk-on from Creighton announced yesterday that he’ll be joining the staff as a graduate assistant next year.

Both scholarship seniors, Jordan and De La Rosa, made their way in to the scoring column against the Hoosiers with Jordan tallying 11 points, two assists, and a rebound and De La Rosa notching three points on a converted and-one to go with a rebound in nine minutes of action.

“There are a lot of memories of how far this team has come,” Jordan said. “There were a lot of ups and downs.”

And while the loss may still sting, the Plainfield, Illinois native still stuck around postgame to say one last goodbye to the Illini faithful.

“Big things are on the way,” Jordan said. “This group of guys, they work. I’m expecting great things from them.”