CHAMPAIGN — University of Ilinois sophomore forward Tevian Jones has entered the transfer portal.
The news was first reported by Brendan Quinn of The Athletic. The Herald & Review confirmed that report.
Jones, a 6-foot-7 guard from Chandler, Ariz., has played sparingly during his two seasons in Champaign. He played in 13 games this season, averaging 0.9 points and 0.8 rebounds. It's the second consecutive day that an Illinois player has entered the transfer portal. Sophomore Alan Griffin entered his name on Tuesday evening.
"I’ve chosen to continue my basketball career on another path, I will not be returning to Illinois," Jones wrote on Twitter Wednesday. "I appreciate everything you guys, the (university) and Coaches have done for me. Wish the guys nothing but success moving forward. Gonna miss y’all. All Love."
In his two years in Champaign, Jones served two separate eight-game suspensions for off-the-court violations. At his best, he would have given Illinois a long, athletic wing player. During a summer trip to Italy, Jones showed his athleticism with big games and flashy dunks in transition.
Jones has played just 15 seconds of game time since playing 19 minutes, 30 seconds on Feb. 15 at Rutgers.
“It’s earned," Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said of Jones' playing time following the Rutgers game. "I don’t care who you are, you’ve got to earn the right to be on the court and there’s a lot that goes into that. He keeps working his tail off and that’s growing. He gets better everyday. If he wasn’t, I wouldn’t play him. His work ethic has been very consistent. Now that you get long stints in games, you’ve got to be consistent."
As a freshman, Jones averaged 3.5 points and 1.4 rebounds. He delivered a career-high 18 points and tied his career-high with four rebounds on Jan. 26, 2019, against Maryland at Madison Square Garden. He followed that with a 10-point game against Minnesota.
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Jones arrived in Champaign as a four-star recruit from Culver City High School in Culver City, Calif.
Illinois now has one open scholarship, and could have another depending on if sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu elects to forego his final two seasons of eligibility in favor of beginning his professional basketball career. The Illini have two players signed for next season — guard Andre Curbelo and forward Coleman Hawkins — and have a verbal commitment from guard Adam Miller.
Both Curbelo and Miller are four-star guards, according to 247Sports, and Hawkins is a three-star forward.
Transfer wing players Jacob Grandison and Austin Hutcherson will be available to play next season after sitting out this year per NCAA transfer rules. Grandison started all 33 games as a sophomore at Holy Cross in the 2018-19 season and led the team with 13.9 points per game. He's a 6-foot-6 forward who will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.
Hutcherson transferred to Illinois from Division III Wesleyan University where he started all 25 games as a sophomore and averaged 20 points. He's also listed at 6-foot-6 and will have two seasons of eligibility.
The Illini have reportedly been active in the transfer market.
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Contact Joey Wagner at (217) 421-6970. Follow him on Twitter: @mrwagner25
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