CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) – Coastal Carolina forward Sam McLaurin will transfer to Illinois after his graduation this month.

In a news release Friday, Illinois says the 6-8, 230-pound McLaurin will enroll as a graduate student and has one season of eligibility left. Under NCAA rules, he’ll be able to play next season.

McLaurin started 31 games for the Chanticleers last season. He averaged 10 points and 7.5 rebounds a game.

First-year Illini coach John Groce says McLaurin should help Illinois’ front-court depth. The early departure of 7-1 center Meyers Leonard to the NBA draft left the Illini short on experienced big men.

Illinois has now signed graduate transfers in two straight seasons. Guard Sam Maniscalco joined the Illini last season after graduating from Bradley.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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