Matthew Mayer joined the Illinois men’s basketball team from Baylor, where he played for 4 seasons and averaged 9.8 points and 5.0 rebounds across 33 starts for the Bears in 2021-22. He then opted to use his free remaining year of eligibility to transfer to the Illini.

However, the Austin, Tex. native has been hampered by a back injury that he suffered shortly after joining the team for workouts in July. His late arrival was due to him completing course work needed to graduate from Baylor, per head coach Brad Underwood.

“He got in in the middle of July and then fought a few little nagging back things that kept him out some. We’ll have him full, ready to blow and go, so to speak, in August,” Underwood said on Wednesday, according to 247Sports.

Mayer joins an Illini squad that finished with a share of the B1G regular season title in 2021-22 before advancing to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. It helps that the 6-foot-9, 225-pounder has championship experience with the Bears.

“Matt’s a guy who has had an uncanny ability his whole career to make hard, tough shots,” said Underwood. “I think he does it at all three levels. I think he does it off the bounce. I think he does it with catch-and-shoot. He can score in the post. He’s got a knack on the offensive glass.”