Illinois basketball early 2024 transfer portal wish list

The transfer portal is heating up, and the Illinois basketball team has been extremely active in trying to build next year's roster.

Mar 20, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA;  Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood talks to the media
Mar 20, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood talks to the media / Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
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Illinois basketball has two seasons going on right now, the regular basketball season and the transfer portal season.

The Illini are doing a great job in both seasons. We are in the Sweet 16 and climbing. Meanwhile, the Illinois coaching staff is putting out feelers and trying to lay the groundwork for another deep NCAA tournament run next season.

With the transfer portal being open, some big-time players are looking for a new home. Illinois has contacted some of these talented athletes, and I have an early wish list of players I want on the roster next season.

Here is my Illinois basketball early 2024 transfer portal wish list

1. Dante Maddox Jr. – Toledo Rockets

I believe the top option for Illinois basketball this early in the transfer portal proceedings is Dante Maddox Jr. This kid is extremely talented and could help us win a lot of games.

Coming out of Bloom High School in Illinois, Maddox was overlooked by many programs. He wasn’t rated or ranked, so he landed with Cal State Fullerton. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound guard spent two seasons with the Titans before transferring to Toledo in 2022.

Maddox played the last two seasons with the Rockets. He averaged 15.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.4 steals per game in 2023-24.

On Tuesday, Luke Chaney of 247Sports reported a list of teams that have reached out to the recent transfer portal addition. Illinois was among the teams to have contacted Maddox.

Illinois needs guards who can score the basketball. Heading into next season, we are losing a lot of guard talent, and Maddox can help fill those voids.

I love Maddox’s numbers, but the one that stands out to me the most is the fact he took 5.6 three-point attempts per game and knocked them down at a clip of 40.2%. Illinois is losing five out of the top six players in three-point attempts from this season. Maddox would be a perfect option to replace those talented players.

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