Alexander opts out of senior season with Illini

By Jeff LaBelle

Rodney Alexander has played his last game with the Illinois basketball team and will not return for his senior season, head coach Bruce Weber announced Tuesday morning.

The transfer from Redlands Community College in Oklahoma played in 31 games and started 15 after spending the last two seasons as one of the nation’s top junior college prospects. He was brought in to help offset the loss of MVPs Rich McBride and Warren Carter after the pair left following their senior seasons.

“In our individual meetings at the conclusion of the season, Rodney indicated that he was unsure about his future at Illinois,” Weber said. “After taking some time and discussing his situation further, we have mutually agreed that it is in his best interest to pursue an opportunity at another institution.

“We thank him for his effort here and wish him the best with his remaining education and basketball career.”

Alexander began the season as the team’s starting small forward and recorded career highs of 22 points and 11 rebounds at Ohio State in late January before seeing his minutes taper off down the Illini’s stretch run into the Big Ten Tournament. He suffered a concussion late in the season and recorded only two minutes in the Big Ten title game loss against Wisconsin. He didn’t play against Minnesota, Penn State, or Purdue in the first three rounds.

Alexander averaged 4.6 points and 2.9 rebounds this season.