Illinois basketball backcourt depth takes big hit from the transfer portal

The transfer portal strikes again, as the Illinois basketball team just took a big hit to the backcourt depth
Iowa v Illinois
Iowa v Illinois / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

The transfer portal craziness has struck again, as the Illinois basketball team has another departure from the program.

Entering Monday, the Illini were even with the transfer portal. We had lost four players – Luke Goode, Amani Hansberry, Sencire Harris, and Dain Dainja, but Illinois had also added four players – Tre White, Jake Davis, Carey Booth, and Kylan Boswell.

Well, we can now add another player to the list of those who are departing the program. On Monday, Jonathan Givony of ESPN reported that point guard Niccolo Moretti has decided to enter the transfer portal.

Coming out of the NBA Global Academy, Moretti didn’t have a lot of recruiting attention. He was looked at by mid-major programs, but Illinois saw his potential. We offered him a scholarship, and the talented point guard committed.

Moretti saw action in 18 games as a freshman this past season. He averaged 1.5 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 0.6 assists per contest as well. After one season, the Italian point guard is now on the move and looking for a new home.

Niccolo Moretti entering the transfer portal hurts the Illinois basketball roster greatly

I honestly thought the transfer portal departures might be done for the offseason. I mean, there were only three players from last year’s roster still on the team, so mathematically, it was likely to be done.

That wasn’t the case, though. Illinois now has little to no depth on the roster. I love Boswell coming back home and playing for the Illini. He is our starting point guard entering next season. I then have Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn as the starting No. 2 guard, unless he has transferred in the time it took me to write this article.

Behind these two, I am not sure what Illinois is going to do. We could have had Jase Butler as their backup, but he was released from his National Letter of Intent and is now with Washington. There are some players who recently entered the transfer portal who would be great options, but at this point, I am not sure what the next move is going to be.

Losing Moretti hurts not just because we lost a talented player but because he was quality depth who would help the team win. It is about to be an interesting next few weeks.

Next. Top 10 most painful Illinois basketball transfer portal departures of all time. Top 10 most painful Illinois basketball transfer portal departures of all time. dark