Austin Colbert will join the Illini

"I’ve decided that I’m going to attend the University of Illinois," Colbert told SNY's Adam Zagoria. "Fighting Illini."

The 6-9 forward prospect added Villanova to his list late in the process and it was believed that the 'Cats would have a chance to land the New Jersey talent to bring some depth to a front line that will be depleted after this season. Many thought that the Wildcats would be the likely landing spot for the Team Final player, but something changed last week.

"I decided to pick Illinois because I just want it to be the best fit for me," he said. "I feel like coach John Groce is going to develop me into a person, develop me into a player and push me every day in practice. Not only does basketball have a big value for me, but academics as well.

"Illinois has the second-largest alumni network in the country, so basically after basketball if I handle my business in the classroom I'll be good."

It is rare that an athlete will invoke a school's alumni network when choosing where to play their sport in college, but Colbert is worried about life after basketball. The Gill St. Bernards (and former St. Pats) athlete is also known to be a good student.

In addition to Villanova and Illinois, Colbert was also considering Miami and Seton Hall.

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