Champaign — On Saturday, Austin Hutcherson was in the Ubben Practice Facility and wrapping up is official visit.
Not much later, Hutcherson announced he would be transferring to the team from Wesleyan University, a Division III school in Middletown, Conn.
Illinois head coach Brad Underwood announced Saturday that Hutcherson has signed a Big Ten Tender of Financial Aid with the University of Illinois. Hutcherson will sit out the upcoming season and have two years of eligibility remaining with the Illini during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.
"We are thrilled to add an outstanding young man and quality player to our program in Austin Hutcherson," Underwood said in a statement. "Austin is a skilled, multi-dimensional guard who can play off the ball and handle it. He is an extremely gifted shooter and a willing facilitator with the ball as well. And he is a good student who is just as excited about the academic opportunities here at the University of Illinois as he is about joining our team. He will benefit from sitting out a year, focusing on gaining weight and strength with Coach Adam Fletcher while becoming familiar with our system and style of play."
Hutcherson is a 6-foot-6, 175-pound guard who played the past two seasons at Wesleyan University. He earned first-team all-league honors in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and second-team All-District accolades by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) as a sophomore.
Hutcherson led the NESCAC in scoring, 3-pointers and free throw percentage, while also leading his team in 3-point percentage, assists and steals, and ranking second in rebounds. He averaged 20.0 points and scored in double figures in all but one game with 13 outings of 20-plus points and four 30-plus performances. He set his career-high with 37 points vs. Bowdoin on Feb. 9, knocking down 13-of-16 from the field, including 5-of-7 from 3-point range and all six free throw attempts.
He shot 39.2 percent from 3-point range and 88.5 percent from the free throw line. Hutcherson averaged 2.6 treys per game, highlighted by a career-high nine triples in 14 attempts at Bates on Jan. 25. In addition to his shooting proficiency, he averaged 5.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists for the Cardinals.
Hutcherson was named the NESCAC Rookie of the Year in 2018 after averaging 11.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.6 assists while shooting 44.3 percent from 3-point land as a freshman.
During his two-year career at Wesleyan, Hutcherson totaled 847 points (15.7 ppg) and was a 41.3 percent shooter from 3-point range (119-288) and 86.1 percent shooter from the line (142-165).