Alex Illikainen Leaves Wisconsin Basketball Program

Alex Illikainen Leaves Wisconsin Basketball Program

Basketball

Alex Illikainen Leaves Wisconsin Basketball Program

MADISON, Wis – Senior forward Alex Illikainen has elected to leave the Wisconsin basketball program but will remain enrolled at the university, according to a statement released by the program Monday.

“We wish Alex luck as he continues to pursue earning his degree from the University of Wisconsin in May,” head coach Greg Gard said in the release. “We also want to thank him for his efforts during his three-plus years with our program.”

He is the second forward to leave the Badgers since March, as junior forward Andy Van Vliet transferred to William & Mary after reportedly being at odds with Gard and the coaching staff.

Recruited by Gard out of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Illikainen appeared in 85 career games, averaging 1.5 points and 1.3 rebounds per game.

His best season was his 2015-16 true freshman season, playing in 33 games, including all three NCAA tournament games, and averaging 12.0 minutes, 2.3 points and 1.9 rebounds per game. His best performance came shortly after Gard took over for former coach Bo Ryan, as Illikainen scored a career-high 10 points and added one rebound and one assist in 11 minutes in a home loss to Purdue.

His minutes and production waned from there, bottoming out last season when he played in only 25 games, averaging just 6.8 minutes per contest, despite the Badgers desperately needing a veteran presence in their frontcourt.

Illikainen did not appear in last week’s season opener and he has yet to redshirt, opening up the possibility he could finish his college career elsewhere.

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