Former BYU forward Seneca Knight announced Wednesday morning that he has committed to Illinois State of the Missouri Valley Conference.

Knight entered the transfer portal on April 30 after averaging 7.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 27 games for the Cougars last season. 

The 6-foot-6, 224-pounder from New Orleans was sidelined for the final seven games of the season due to a thumb injury suffered in a loss at Saint Mary’s on Feb. 19

Knight joined BYU’s program last summer after stints at San Jose State and LSU. 

With the Cougars, Knight scored a season-high 14 points in three different games, including back-to-back wins over San Diego and Portland.

On Feb. 10, Knight helped make program history in a game at Loyola Marymount. For the first time ever, the Cougars started four Black players — Knight, Fousseyni Traore, Gideon George and Te’Jon Lucas

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BYU, which is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also started five players that are not members of the church for the first time in school history. The fifth starter was senior guard Alex Barcello

For the program, it was a historic and significant moment, although coach Mark Pope said he wasn’t trying to make a statement with that lineup. 

“We didn’t start four Black players, we didn’t start five players that aren’t members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for any other reason than that the game told us that’s what we should have done,” Pope said days after the game. “That’s really a beautiful thing if, as a world, we keep moving closer toward the decision-making is based on that and nothing else. It was a great opportunity and a really terrific moment for our guys. It’s not a goal here at BYU. But it’s something that’s good for BYU, too.”

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“I never planned on making history; I just came here to hoop,” Knight said about that historic event. “But since it happened, it’s pretty cool to look at, to be able to show future recruiting classes that you can come here and be productive. You don’t have to be part of the church. You could be African American … (it shows) all diversities that you can come here and play and do what you do.”

In that same game against LMU, the Cougars rallied from a 17-point second-half deficit and the contest ended up going into overtime. 

As the final seconds ticked off the clock in OT, Knight drew a foul. With one second remaining, he hit his first free throw, which turned out to be the difference in the Cougars’ dramatic 83-82 victory over the Lions — snapping BYU’s four-game losing streak.

Brigham Young Cougars forward Seneca Knight (24) dunks on the Portland Pilots in Provo on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022.
BYU forward Seneca Knight dunks on the Portland Pilots in Provo on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022. Knight recently announced he will be taking his game to Illinois State. | Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News