Illinois adds point guard, forward on signing day

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois has signed point guard Te'Jon Lucas to join the team next season and has added forward Kipper Nichols who previously committed to Tulane, coach John Groce said Wednesday.

Lucas is a 6-foot, 160-pound recruit from Washington High School in Milwaukee. considers him a four-star recruit while Rivals gives him three stars.

He should help address a serious need next season. The Illini are thin at point guard, where Tracy Abrams is missing a second-straight season with injury and junior Jaylon Tate has shown limited effectiveness.

"Te'Jon is first and foremost a pure point guard," Groce said. "He can really pass the ball. We watched him a lot over the spring, summer and fall, and that is what stands out the most. He just has that knack - which all the great point guards do - of delivering the ball to the right player at the right time to create scoring opportunities."

But Groce said Lucas also defends, drives and shoots well.

Nichols had committed to joining Tulane for this season, but the Lakewood, Ohio, native didn't enroll at Tulane and the school granted him his release.

Groce said the 6-6, 200-pound Nichols will join the team before the spring semester but it isn't clear yet when he could play.