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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

5 NIU men’s basketball players enter transfer portal

Ryanne Sandifer
Sophomore forward Yanic Konan Niederhauser (from left) shoots a free throw while sophomore forward Xavier Amos (13), freshman guard Will Lovings-Watts (1), junior guard Zarique Nutter (2) and redshirt sophomore Zion Russell huddle up in an NIU men’s basketball home game against the University at Buffalo on Feb. 13. All five players have entered the transfer portal since the end of the 2023-2024 regular season. (Ryanne Sandifer | Northern Star)

DeKALB – Five NIU men’s basketball players have entered the transfer portal, per multiple social media posts.

Verbal Commits announced that junior guard Zarique Nutter, sophomore forwards Xavier Amos and Yanic Konan Niederhauser, freshman guard Will Lovings-Watts and redshirt sophomore guard Zion Russell have all voiced their intentions to transfer away from NIU. The five players accounted for 1,172 points combined during the 2023-2024 season, over half of NIU’s total points scored last season.

Each player listed may still return to the Huskies’ lineup if they don’t find a new home.

In addition to entering the transfer portal, Konan Niederhauser declared for the 2024 NBA Draft while maintaining his college eligibility. If undrafted, Konan Niederhauser will still be able to play at least two more years of collegiate basketball.

According to The Portal Report, Amos has heard from five Power 5 schools since entering the transfer portal. The University of Kansas, University of Texas at Austin, University of Illinois, University of Virginia and the University of California, Berkeley have all contacted Amos.

Amos was NIU’s third leading scorer during the 2023-2024 season with 13.8 points per game.

According to a tweet from Hoop Scoop Media confirmed by Nutter, the junior guard has heard from a total of 11 Division I programs. Notable schools include the University of Arkansas, University of Georgia, University of Oregon, North Carolina State University and Xavier University.

Nutter, the Huskies’ second leading scorer, averaged 15.4 points per game and 5.7 rebounds per game during the 2023-2024 season.

If all five players choose to leave NIU, the Huskies will be without three former starters and their sixth man for the 2024-2025 season. Head coach Rashon Burno will be forced to retool NIU’s roster around junior guard David Coit.

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