Head coach Shaka Smart and the Texas Longhorns are one of six programs under consideration by Illinois Fighting Illini guard Alan Griffin, who entered the NCAA transfer portal last week with three years to play two seasons.
According to reports from Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports and Evan Daniels of 247Sports, the other five finalists for Griffin are Arizona, Dayton, Iowa State, Miami, and Syracuse.
The 6’5, 195-pounder is the son of former NBA player Adrian Griffin, who is now an assistant with the Toronto Raptors. As a freshman, Griffin played sparingly and only averaged 2.8 points per game, but emerged as a key contributor for the Illini as a sophomore. Griffin averaged 8.9 points per game while shooting 41.6 percent from three-point range and led the Big Ten in offensive efficiency during conference play, finishing No. 6 nationally in that metric. Griffin was also an excellent rebounder on both ends of the floor, ranking among the top 150 players nationally in offensive rebounding rate.
So Griffin is an intriguing transfer option because of his height, shooting, rebounding, and overall efficiency — he wasn’t highly-regarded as a recruit, but after a redshirt season he could emerge as a significant contributor.
With Texas set to lose Matt Coleman and Jase Febres from the backcourt after next season, it’s easy to understand why Smart is intrigued by Griffin. However, the question is whether the Horns will have a scholarship available for Griffin this year — Texas only carried 12 scholarship players in 2019-20, but all of those players still have eligibility remaining and local prospect Greg Brown III has a spot reserved.
If the Longhorns somehow miss on Brown, Jericho Sims turns pro, or someone transfers, then Griffin would make a lot of sense, but right now Texas doesn’t seem like a strong contender because of the scholarship situation.