Illinois State center Reggie Lynch is leaving the program and transferring to Minnesota, he announced Tuesday morning. Lynch averaged 9.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and a MVC-best 2.8 blocks last season for a Redbirds team that reached the second round of the NIT.
He will have two years of eligibility, starting in the 2016-17 season.
“It was a long and hard process and one that was absolutely nerve racking. But [nonetheless] I feel like it is the right one,” Lynch said on Twitter. “I really and truly would like to thank the ISU family friends and fans for letting me embrace, represent and be a part of Redbird pride.”
Lynch is a native of Minneapolis suburb Edina, which was a major reason why Minnesota became his new landing spot.
“I got to go back home,” Lynch told ESPN. “It’s going to be a blast and I believe we can turn things around.”
Lynch is the second Illinois State player to transfer to Minnesota during Gophers coach Richard Pitino‘s tenure. The Gophers snagged high-volume scoring guard Zach Lofton last offseason, but Lofton was dismissed before in October.
When Lynch becomes eligible next season, the Golden Gophers’ will have a talented deep frontcourt. Minnesota has a young talent in 6-foot-11 center Bakary Konate, and they bring in highly touted freshman Jonathan Nwankwo as a freshman next season.
Pitino also has a verbal commit from 2016 power forward Michael Hurt, a borderline top 100 recruit.
Minnesota went 6-12 in the Big Ten last year, finishing tied for 10th and failing to earn a postseason berth.