Illinois Basketball: Top transfer big man includes Illini in top 6

The transfer market is really heating up for the Illinois basketball program, as they have now been added to the biggest top list in the men’s game.

There are plenty of transfers out there, but one could argue that big man Tre Mitchell is the biggest target for every program trying to compete for a national title. On Friday, Mitchell decided to narrow the scope of his recruitment to just six teams.

Among the six teams to make the cut for Mitchell included the likes of Florida State, Bryant, Texas, Georgia, LSU and Illinois. These are six tough programs, but one could make the case for the Illini needing the big man the most.

Coming out of Woodstock Academy in Canada, Mitchell was a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 84 player in the class of 2019. He was able to take four official visits during his original recruitment back in 2018. Mitchell visited UConn, Notre Dame, UMass and Illinois. Only one of those four teams made his top list again this time around.

What does this top six mean for Illinois basketball?

I think making the top list for Mitchell is up there with the top lists of Ayo Dosunmu, Adam Miller and Kofi Cockburn. That is how much of an impact I believe he can have on Illinois this upcoming season.

This isn’t just a run-of-the-mill transfer. Mitchell has put up massive numbers since joining the Minutemen in 2019. He averaged 17.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1 block and 1 steal per game as a freshman. Those numbers had a slight uptick last season, as he averaged 18.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals per game.

Honestly, the biggest weakness I see on the Illinois roster right now is at the No. 5 spot. I think that is solved with a player like Mitchell stepping in. In fact, I see Illinois being a contender for another No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament with Mitchell at the No. 5 spot. That is how good this kid can be for the Illini.

Snagging Mitchell cannot be understated. If Illinois ads him, we are going to be a top five team nationally, a contender to win the Big Ten regular season, the Big Ten tournament and a contender to win the national title.