College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

Alfonso Plummer

Alfonso Plummer could take advantage of his bonus year of eligibility. The Utah guard declared for the 2021 NBA Draft in late March and also entered the transfer portal.

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Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation,” your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He’ll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood’s team:

Episode 146: Busy offseason continues

The pursuit of Alfonso Plummer took another step Thursday when the now former Utah guard announced he would return for one more season of college basketball — taking advantage of his bonus season of eligibility — but he'd do so after transferring. The 6-foot-1, 182-pound guard has Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Texas Tech and BYU in his final five with a decision apparently coming this weekend.

Plummer's announcement got some support from Illinois guard Andre Curbelo. Both are from Puerto Rico, and Champaign could really feel like "home" for Plummer considering walk-on guard Edgar Padilla Jr. and incoming freshman guard RJ Melendez are also both from Puerto Rico. 

Also apparently making a decision on his future this weekend? Trent Frazier.

The Illinois senior announced last week he was entering his name in the 2021 NBA Draft and hiring an NCAA-approved agent so he could maintain his eligibility. Thursday saw Frazier post on his Instagram story that he had a decision coming in two days. 

If Frazier decides to return to Champaign for one season, that would almost have to put Illinois out of the hunt for Plummer. There's zero sense in adding a transfer guard that would essentially play the same position. Frazier's role in 2021-22 — should he return — would be to play alongside Curbelo with the latter running the offense. Plummer, who is more of a shooter and not so much a point guard, would be in the same spot. 

Scott Richey covers college basketball for The News-Gazette. His email is, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

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