ISU’s Reeves, Ndiaye and Andrews Enter Transfer Portal
Written by Brendan McInerney on March 25, 2022
Image Courtesy goredbirds.com
NORMAL, Ill. – A trio of Redbird basketball players entered the NCAA Division I transfer portal this week, including leading scorer Antonio Reeves.
PORTAL: Illinois State G Antonio Reeves has entered. https://t.co/waOHqtbWD8
— Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) March 21, 2022
Reeves, a 6-foot-5 junior guard, was named to the All-MVC Second Team in addition to earning the team captain spot on the All-MVC Most Improved Team. He became the first Redbird since 2000-01 to average at least 20 points per game (20.1 ppg) in a season for Illinois State. Reeves’ 1,195 career points through three seasons is the 28th-highest in Illinois State basketball history.
The Chicago (Simeon) product scored in double-figures in 31of the team’s 33 games, including 18 games of 20 or more points, tied for the seventh-most in the country this season and sixth-most in program history. His scoring average was 19th-best in NCAA Division I this season.
He shot 46.9% from the field, including 39.0% from three-point range and an impressive 81.8% at the free-throw line.
Reeves has two seasons of eligibility remaining if he chooses to take advantage of the COVID-19 year (2020-21). He should gain plenty of high-major interest from teams around the country. Reeves also has the option to return to ISU and play for new head coach Ryan Pedon if he chooses.
The transfer portal has resulted in what many now call college basketball free agency. Gone are the days when you brought in a signing class, developed and mentored those players and two years later they were full-fledged contributors for the same program. In 2021, more than 1,700 players hit the transfer market — a record we may never see eclipsed.
The NCAA Division I Council approved a measure last year that removes a one-year ineligibility policy, which had prevented transfer athletes from immediately playing at their new schools. Now, every college basketball player is eligible to transfer once without having to sit out.
Joining Reeves in the transfer portal from the Redbirds is junior Abdou Ndiaye and sophomore Alston Andrews. Both are 6-foot-9 forwards that showed flashes of potential over the past two seasons, but ultimately couldn’t get consistent playing time.
Ndiaye, a Senegal native, enters the portal as a grad transfer. He will have one year of eligibility remaining after averaging 1.6 points and 1.9 rebounds. He started 9 games this year for the Redbirds.
Andrews averaged 0.6 points and 1.0 rebounds in 14 games this season. He will have three years of eligibility remaining.
Ryan Pedon Makes First Hire for Coaching Staff
Ryan Pedon was introduced as the 20th head coach in Illinois State Men’s basketball program history two weeks ago but still had duties to fulfill at Ohio State. Now with the Buckeyes’ season officially over, he is making quick work to upgrade the Redbird program.
Per Jeff Goodman of Stadium, Pedon is hiring former Toledo assistant Walter Offutt.
Illinois State coach Ryan Pedon has hired Toledo assistant Walter Offutt, source told @Stadium.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 23, 2022
This is significant news on the recruiting trails. Offutt has spent the past three seasons at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he helped the Mocs land a Top 100 recruiting class in 2018. His success recruiting the Midwest should help prove to Pedon that he is an excellent addition to the bench.
Offutt’s previous basketball positions included serving as the director of basketball operations at Ball State University during the 2016-17 campaign and as a graduate manager at the University of Illinois for two years (2014-16).
During his collegiate career, Offutt played his first two seasons at Ohio State before transferring to Ohio where he averaged 11.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 1.4 spg in 71 games to help the Bobcats to a 53-18 (.747) record. He was a third-team All-MAC and Academic All-MAC selection as a senior in 2012-13.