Busting Brackets

DePaul Basketball: Blue Demons get transfer Isaiah Rivera from UIC

Illinois-Chicago Flames guard Isaiah Rivera (1) and Cincinnati Bearcats forward Ody Oguama (33)
Illinois-Chicago Flames guard Isaiah Rivera (1) and Cincinnati Bearcats forward Ody Oguama (33) / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Transfer Portal continues to churn, changing rosters all across the nation. One of the most recent moves was Isaiah Rivera’s decision to spend his fifth and final season of eligibility at DePaul. Rivera starred at UIC this past season and doesn’t have far to travel in landing with the Blue Demons.

A 6’5 wing originally from Geneseo, Illinois, Rivera actually got his college career started out west at Colorado State. He played for Niko Medved for three seasons, albeit getting very little playing time as an underclassman. His junior year saw him become a starter for the Rams, though the figures he put up this season with UIC were certainly more significant.

He’d average 15.4 points and 4.2 rebounds per game in his lone season with the Flames, becoming UIC’s leading scorer. Rivera made just under 42% of his 3-pointers and was one of the best shooters in the MVC from all over the court.

There wasn’t a ton to love about UIC this season, but Rivera played a key role in the Flames’ hot start to the season. He scored 25 points in an early win over Little Rock and dropped 23 in an upset over Loyola Chicago in early November. Several other 20-point efforts would follow, including a pair of 28-point outings against Southern Illinois, including in UIC’s MVC Tournament win over the Salukis in early March.

After a coaching change at UIC, Rivera hopped into the Transfer Portal, hoping to find the perfect landing spot for his final collegiate season. He really showcased his talent in that penultimate game with the Flames and now gets his opportunity to shine in the Big East at DePaul.

He becomes the latest addition in what’s already a busy offseason for new DePaul head coach Chris Holtmann. The program landed Jacob Meyer, CJ Gunn, and a few other transfers already, with the roster being fully reshaped in the blink of an eye.

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It’s too early to tell just exactly how rotations will materialize for the Blue Demons, but a sharpshooting wing like Rivera is a major gain for this program. He likely won’t put up 15 points a game against tougher competition in the Big East, but they’ll certainly hope he can keep shooting greater than 40% from beyond the arc.