BREAKING NEWS: illinois basketball player announces his return

Illini basketball roster reset: Who left, who returns and who is on the way

Here’s a look at who left, who is returning and who is on the way to the 2024 Illinois basketball roster.

CHAMPAIGN — Get ready for a new-look Illinois team after an appearance in the Elite Eight for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Between players out of eligibility, jumping to the NBA or transferring, Illinois will return just two players from last season’s team that finished second in the Big Ten, won the Big Ten Tournament and advanced to the Elite Eight.

Head coach Brad Underwood and his coaching staff — including newly-returned assistant Orlando Antigua — have embraced the transfer portal and the ability to upgrade talent each offseason.

“I mean he is as the portal is no doubt a prominent piece of everything that we’re doing,” Underwood said. “We’re not shying away from that. I love the pieces that Tim (Anderson) and Geoff (Alexander) have brought into this point and as that portal continues to evolve from players not just going in here late but around the world as well, I think there’s a tremendous footprint that could be left by Orlando in terms of those areas. He’ll be very dialed in as well.”

Illinois brought in three transfers a season ago to play alongside Terrence Shannon Jr., who transferred to Illinois two years ago, and Coleman Hawkins, a four-year player at Illinois.

And this offseason, Underwood leaned back into the transfer portal in rebuilding the roster.

“Sometimes continuity can be — you can have too much and I think there’s a certain excitement that comes with the newness,” Underwood said last month. “I think there’s some level of comfort when you have guys back and you have guys that are comfortable. I was very comfortable obviously with Coleman (Hawkins) and Terrence. I knew what we had in those guys, but on the other hand, there’s just a tremendous sense of excitement. I think the guys we’ve got and the guys I know we’re going to get are really talented and can do some different things, so I’m excited to see how that all comes together.”

Illinois isn’t done in the transfer portal and still has three open scholarship spots to fill out its roster, likely with a wing and a guard.

Note: This will be updated as Illinois continues to add to its roster. 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.