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    Sam McLaurin averaged 10.0 points and 7.5 rebounds last season at Coastal Carolina.

    Sam McLaurin averaged 10.0 points and 7.5 rebounds last season at Coastal Carolina.

    May 4, 2012

    Champaign, Ill.- University of Illinois head coach John Groce announced Friday that Coastal Carolina's Sam McLaurin has signed a tender of financial aid and will transfer to Illinois for his final season upon earning his bachelor's degree in May. McLaurin will enroll as a graduate student at Illinois and will be eligible to compete immediately during the 2012-13 season under the NCAA one-time transfer exception.

    McLaurin is a 6-8, 230-pound forward who started all 31 games for the Chanticleers last season, averaging 10.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks while shooting 65.2 percent from the field. He scored a career-best 20 points on March 13 against Old Dominion and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds in a victory over LSU on Nov. 15. McLaurin scored in double figures in 18 games on the year and recorded five double-doubles. Hetotaled 674 points and shot nearly 62 percent during his four-year career and owns the Coastal Carolina record for career blocked shots with 155 while ranking seventh on the school's all-time rebounding list with 647 boards.

    A native of Havana, Fla., McLaurin is a two-time Big South All-Academic selection and earned first-team CoSIDA Academic All-District honors in 2012 as well.

    "Sam is a bright young man who has achieved at a high level on the court as well as in the classroom," Groce said. "With Meyers Leonard entering the NBA Draft, we looked to increase our frontcourt depth. Sam fills that need, and by earning his degree, he will have the opportunity to contribute immediately. He rebounds and blocks shots, and is a strong finisher inside. Sam has tremendous athleticism and is a versatileplayer who fits our style of play at both ends of the floor."

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