Illinois Basketball Grad Transfer Michael Finke Visiting Penn State This Weekend

By Dan Smith on April 16, 2018 at 7:59 am
Illinois Fighting Illini forward Michael Finke (43) takes the ball past Wisconsin Badgers guard Khalil Iverson (21) at the Kohl Center.
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Penn State men's basketball coach Pat Chambers has been more active on the grad transfer market in 2018 than in any prior year since he started at Penn State in 2011. That trend continues as the Nittany Lions will host Illinois grad transfer Michael Finke during Blue-White Weekend.

Finke is a 6-foot-10 forward who averaged 9.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game for the Illini in 2017-18. Finke primarily played the 5 for an undersized Illinois team, though he has experience at the 4 from his first two seasons. He did not play in Penn State's 74-52 drubbing of Brad Underwood's team in February, as he was out with a concussion.

Finke is the second big name on the grad transfer market to express interest in Penn State, as Albany guard Joe Cremo has also met with Chambers. The Nittany Lions have two open scholarships for the 2018-19 season due to the departures of Tony Carr to the NBA and Nazeer Bostick to a transfer.

There is certainly a fit for Finke in State College. The 4 has been occupied by leading returning scorer Lamar Stevens for the last two seasons, with backup minutes taken by some combination of Julian Moore, Deivis Zemgulis, and Josh Reaves. No player in the rotation, aside from Stevens, had made much sense at the position. Finke not only removes the need for relying on Zemgulis from the equation, it also allows Stevens more opportunities to play the 3.

Also interested in Finke are Stanford, Nevada, Grand Canyon, and Vanderbilt. Grand Canyon could potentially be a favored landing spot, as Finke's younger brother, four-star wing recruit Tim Finke, is committed to Dan Majerle's program, and will be a freshman this fall.