CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Less than 12 hours after losing two players to transfer, Illinois basketball adds one. Giorgi Bezhanishvili verbally committed to play for the Illini late Monday night after officially visiting campus with his mom.
The 6-foot-9, 230-pound forward is originally from Austria but played his senior year of high school at St. Patrick in New Jersey. That’s where Illinois head coach Brad Underwood and his staff saw him play last month.
Bezhanishvili fills an immediate need in the front court for the Illini after Michael Finke announced he would become a grad transfer on Monday. With Leron Black turning pro, the Illini only have two players on the roster with any experience at the forward or center position. Sophomore point guard Te’Jon Lucas also announced he was leaving the program on Monday, meaning four players have now left since the end of Underwood’s first season at Illinois.