What’s next for Illinois basketball? Transfer portal, NBA, recruiting and more


Mar 30, 2024; Boston, MA, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Coleman Hawkins (33) attempts to dribble against the Connecticut Huskies in the finals of the East Regional of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois basketball program ascended to national prominence again this season with a run to the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight. The Illini won 29 games, won the Big Ten Conference tournament, and advanced it to the second weekend of March Madness for the first time since 2005.

So what’s next? From graduation losses, the transfer portal, incoming recruits and players headed to the NBA, we take a look at what is to come for the Illini.

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Illinois basketball in the NCAA transfer portal

Before this season, coach Brad Underwood and his staff deftly navigated the NCAA transfer portal to bring in Marcus Domask (Southern Illinois), Quincy Guerrier (Oregon), Dain Dainja (Baylor) and Justin Harmon (Utah Valley) to complement returning stars Terrence Shannon Jr. and Coleman Hawkins. Even Shannon had come to Illinois from the portal via Texas Tech.

Of those, only Dainja and Coleman have eligibility remaining, although Coleman has announced he played his final game in an Illini uniform. Dainja can return to join rotation regulars Luke Goode and Ty Rodgers, redshirt returnee Sencire Harris and key freshmen Amani Hansberry, Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn and Nico Moretti.

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The Illini also will bring in three high schoolers including northern California’s top player Jase Butler and in-state recruits Morez Johnson (Harvey Thornton) and Jason Jakstys (Yorkville) — a recruiting class ranked in the top 10 by 247Sports and Rivals.

As for the portal, Underwood and his staff will again dip in and help fill the losses.

“This is a great program,” Underwood said after the UConn loss. “We’re getting…

Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/whats-next-illinois-basketball-transfer-083218752.html

Author : Journal Star

Publish date : 2024-04-01 08:32:18

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