Illinois lost a player Saturday, when Myke Henry announced that he is transferring out of the program. Henry, who would have been a junior next season, will be staying local and join DePaul‘s program.
Henry announced the decision on his Twitter account Saturday night, saying, “DePaul here I come.” Henry will have two years of eligibility remaining at DePaul but will have to sit out the 2013 season before he can step on the court for the Blue Demons.
He will be returning to his hometown to play for the Blue Demons. Henry was a top 100 prospect in the 2011 class, after being a star at Orr High School and Mac Irvin Fire, a top AAU team. Once rumors of Henry’s potential transfer started, Depaul seemed like a likely option.
Despite being a highly rated recruit heading into Champaign, Henry was never really able to get a lot of minutes under either Bruce Weber, who recruited him, or during John Groce’s first season. Last year, the 6’6” small forward, averaged just under 11 minutes, playing on the wing. With Brandon Paul and Tyler Griffey both now gone, it is likely Henry would have seen more minutes next season at the small forward position. Henry wanted out anyways, seeing DePaul as a better opportunity.
Groce will now have to look at who will fill in the gap that Henry will leave. As I mentioned, Henry was going to have an increased role next season with the departure of of other forwards and wings so now Groce has the dilemma of filling in those minutes. A likely answer to that question could be the no. 62 freshman in the country, according to Rivals, Malcolm Hill. Hill is a long 6’6” wing, whose stock has now risen with the departure of Henry.
You can follow Alex Dale on Twitter at @alexdalecbb.