Transitioning new players into a program is never an easy thing. Whether old or young, anytime a player joins a new team, there are going to be some transition pains. Even if fans don’t see them, they exist.
Unfortunately for Illinois, there are going to be some transition pains for redshirt freshman forward Kipper Nichols. Though fans were hoping to see Nichols in the near future, according to a release from Illinois, he won’t be suiting up until next semester.
Update on Kipper Nichols (@kipset7), who will be eligible for the #Illini after completion of fall semester. pic.twitter.com/aQTUqnhGvk— Illini Basketball (@IlliniMBB) August 24, 2016
Obviously, the good news is that Nichols will indeed see the floor at some point this year. Even if fans have to wait a few extra months, he should be able to come in and provide some valuable depth for the Illini on the wing during Big Ten play.
Nonetheless, this is some disappointing news in a key year for the program.
Admittedly, Nichols isn’t the type of prospect who could redefine a team, but he’s another piece added to what’s looking like an intriguing lineup this season. After all, even if he could provide some depth, it would be a nice boost.
Of course, Nichols joined the program after transferring out of Tulane last November. He originally committed to Tulane as a 2015 prospect, where he was rated as a three-star prospect by 247Sports. Notably, despite his ratings, Nichols saw no time with the Green Wave last season.
All told, this is some disappointing news for an Illini team looking to turn the corner this season, but with plenty of talent elsewhere, it seems like Illinois should be able to hold its own without Nicholas until the winter.