One of the biggest names in the transfer gate may be filling the void in paint left by former Illinois senior basketball player Kofi Cockburn.
Former Northwestern Wildcats star Pete Nance entered the transfer gate on April 29 with his main focus on the NBA draft but still kept his options open. Nance is the son of three-time former NBA All-Star Larry Nance and brother of current New Orleans Pelicans striker Larry Nance Jr.
If Nance does eventually decide to return to college for another season, the Illini are said to be an important team, given that the former Wildcat has a “strong relationship” with Illinois assistant coach Tim Anderson, who worked with Nance’s brother.
The Nans topped Northwestern with a team-high of 14.6 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks last season. The huge guy shot nearly 50% from the ground and 45.2% from a three-point range. The big man was ranked #92 on ESPN’s 100 Greatest College Basketball Players list.
Where would Pete Nance fit into Illinois’ current basketball roster?
Nance is likely to break the starting lineup for the inaugural 2022-23 season. The senior will compete with current Eleni Senior Team Coleman Hawkins and Dane Dainga for fourth and fifth places. Four-star vocalist Ty Rodgers could also make a case for a site as well.
Because of their versatility—thanks to their height and athletic height as well as their expertise—I see Hawkins and Nance making the cut. So, the starting lineup will look like this:
Sky Clark, student
RJ Melendez, student
Terrence Shannon Jr., Senior
Coleman Hawkins, Jr
House of Nance, large
Not only would this be a powerful group consisting of four former four-star recruits, but the bench would be deep as well. Luke Goode and Dainja, along with freshmen Sencire Harris, Jayden Epps and Rodgers, are all able to come along and provide an instant spark off the bench.
A commitment from Nance can complement a roster that can compete with any team in the country, making Illini true contenders for the National Championship.
Nance has until the June 1 NBA draft withdrawal deadline to make a final decision.