WCIA — Illinois sophomore guard Sencire Harris will take a redshirt season in 2023-24, Illinois head coach Brad Underwood announced after a season opening win against Eastern Illinois.

“Thank you all for respecting my decision to redshirt for basketball,” Harris tweeted on Tuesday. “Your understanding and support mean the world to me. Knowing that you all respect and stand by this choice allows me to focus on my personal growth and development, also be there for my team during this time.”

“I think one of the things that he understands about his development is that he needs to get stronger,” Underwood said after the game. “He needs to get bigger, and it’s come at a little slower pace. Instead of a 10 minute a game guy, there’s going to be a 25 minute a game guy. We know he’s a very, very good defender. But there’s going to be a guy that adds 15 pounds, 18 pounds. There’s going to be a guy that his time will help, that year will pay off.”

Harris made seven starts during his freshman season and averaged 3.7 points per game.