Former Illinois basketball recruiting target enters transfer portal

The transfer portal is still going strong, and the Illinois basketball team needs to take advantage of the available talent
Dayton v Arizona
Dayton v Arizona / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

Illinois basketball is looking to fill out the roster via the transfer portal, and there is a new name who could help bolster depth.

This offseason, the Illini have lost four players and added four players from the transfer portal. On top of the transfer portal departures, Brad Underwood also has to fill in the voids left by the graduating players.

Depth is currently a major issue with the Illinois program. Even though I would like to add a starter, I like what we have in the starting rotation. There needs to be another player or two added for depth, though. That is why I want to target Nate Santos.

Santos is originally from Geneva, Illinois, but transferred over to Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut. He was rated as a three-star recruit and ranked as the No. 231 player in the class of 2021.

Out of high school, Santos picked Pittsburgh as his landing spot. He spent two seasons with the Panthers where he averaged 2.1 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. After his sophomore campaign, Santos transferred out and landed with Dayton.

This past season was pretty special with the Flyers. Santos helped Dayton to the No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament and advanced to the Round of 32. He finished his lone season with the Flyers averaging 11.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game.

On Sunday, Joe Tipton of reported that Santos was back in the transfer portal. He wanted to find a new home. Illinois would be a great landing spot.

Landing Nate Santos out of the transfer portal would help Illinois basketball solidify the frontcourt for 2024-25

Santos is a solid player who can score at the basket and rebound the ball well. I want that type of player in the Illinois frontcourt.

On top of Santos being able to finish around the rim, his three-point shooting took a big leap last season. In his final year at Pittsburgh, Santos shot 15.6% from three-point range. Last season with Dayton, he upped his three-point attempts to 3.7 attempts per game and hit them at a clip of 41.8%.

At this point, I want someone who can be in a timeshare with Ty Rodgers at the No. 4 spot. I think Santos could come into the game and get 18-22 minutes each night. His ability to stretch the floor would be nice in the Illinois rotation. He would also help cover up some of the shooting shortcomings of Rodgers.

Santos is a good player who is likely looking for a high-level DI program. I think Illinois would be a great landing spot. Let’s bring Santos home.

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