Is Bradley’s Sam Maniscalco Transferring to Illinois?

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The University of Illinois has spent most of the week preparing for the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis.

Off the court on Thursday, however, they may have gotten the best news that they’ll get before Selection Sunday.

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Out of Peoria came a report that standout senior point guard Sam Maniscalco, a graduate of Saint Patrick’s High School in Chicago, was looking for his release from his scholarship at Bradley University.

Maniscalco is graduating this spring but, due to injury this season, still has a year of college eligibility left.

He would be able to transfer because Bradley does not have a graduate program in his prospective major, sports communications.

The report went on to say that he was very much looking to transfer to the University of Illinois, where one would have to believe that he would be part of a major role on the 2011-2012 team.

The team will be without any true point guard that isn’t a freshman and, with all due respect to incoming frosh Tracy Abrams, the Illini would be well served by having another point guard on the team, especially one that has shown both the leadership abilities and talents that Maniscalco has.

This would be a huge get for the Illini, should it actually happen, and there are varying reports of the transfer being a “done deal” or a long way from happening.

Whatever does happen, somehow, the Illini managed to steal a little bit of the spotlight on the first day of the Big Ten Tournament — a day where they weren’t even playing.

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