News Local/State

DJ Williams Returns To Illini Men’s Basketball Team

Illini player D.J. Williams shields the ball from Iowa defender Nicholas Baer.

Illini D.J. Williams on the court in February 2016 against Iowa. Rob McColley/Illinois Public Media

Illinois head coach John Groce announced today that Illini sophomore forward DJ Williams has returned to practice, and will be ready to play against Maryland Saturday evening.

Williams was absent from Wednesday's game against Michigan, prompting speculation on social media that he may have left the team with the intention of transferring.

Groce reiterated Friday that Williams's absence was personal, and that Groce supported Williams's decision, saying "some things are more important than basketball."

Groce declined to discuss specifics of the absence.

Williams is a graduate of Chicago's Simeon High School. Barring further roster changes, he would be the only Chicago product on next year's Illini roster.

Current Illinois senior guard Jaylon Tate is also a Simeon graduate.