CHAMPAIGN – If all had gone to plan, he’s been getting ready to play in Illinois’ first Sweet 16 game since 2005 over the next few days.
But with the NCAA Tournament canceled, and a week-and-a-half to think about his own future, Alan Griffin has decided that a better future for himself is outside of Illinois’ basketball program.
In what many consider a surprise, guard Alan Griffin announced on Twitter that he will be leaving the Illini program and entering the NCAA transfer portal.
“Illini Nation, I first want to start off by saying thank you and welcoming me with open arms and supporting me through the years. I also want to thank the university, my teammates, the coaching staff, and all of the staff. After careful thought and consideration, I have decided to enter my name into the transfer portal,” said Griffin in a statement posted on Twitter. “I wish all of the upcoming and current players and the coaching staff best of luck next season! Please respect my decision. #WhyNot.”
Griffin spent two years at Illinois, coming off the bench for 56 of his 58 games the last two seasons. After a freshman year in which he was averaging just a little under eight minutes a game, the guard started making a name for himself in his sophomore season.
In the first two-and-a-half months, Griffin has seven games with over 10 points. he then overcame a late January slump that included a two-game suspension for stepping on Purdue’s Sasha Stefanovic.
On February 27, Griffin had a career-high 24 points in a win at Northwestern that was part of a stretch in which he had 13 or more points in three-of-four games. He provided a spark off the bench to an Illinois team that won 21 games – including 13 in the Big Ten – and was a lock for their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2013.
That didn’t end up happening, and now Griffin is looking to start a new chapter of his college basketball career.