Illinois basketball in contact with Final 4 wing in the transfer portal

Brad Underwood wants to add more talent to the Illinois basketball roster, and he is going after some big fish right now
Miami v Notre Dame
Miami v Notre Dame / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

Illinois basketball is targeting one of the best wings in the transfer portal.

For the most part, the transfer portal has calmed down. Just days ago, the Illini were able to land the fifth transfer of the offseason with the addition of Ben Humrichous. He joins the likes of Kylan Boswell, Jake Davis, Tre White, and Carey Booth.

While those additions are great, Illinois only has Ty Rodgers and Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn returning from last season. We also only have two players coming in from the class of 2024. If you add the numbers up, that gives you nine players on the roster. With 13 scholarships available, we can add four more players for next season.

Brad Underwood is obviously aware of this, and he is trying to add more players. On Thursday, Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog reported that Illinois is one of the teams that has reached out to the transfer portal wing, Wooga Poplar.

Coming out of Math Civics and Sciences Charter School in Philadelphia, Poplar was a four-star recruit who was ranked as the No. 123 player in the class of 2021. He was also the No. 33 shooting guard in the country and the No. 6 player coming out of Pennsylvania.

Poplar had numerous teams vying for his services, but he picked Miami (FL) as his landing spot. The development of Poplar over the last three years has been phenomenal too.

Two seasons ago, Poplar was a big part of the Hurricanes’ Final 4 run when he averaged 8.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. While this past season didn’t go well for Miami, Poplar still managed to average 13.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game.

Illinois basketball is looking for more shooting out of the transfer portal to help the starting lineup

Poplar is a really good player who could help any team in the country. With four scholarships left to fill, the Illini could really use him in the starting lineup.

I love Poplar’s game. He has nice bounce, and his ability to shoot the ball is exactly what Underwood wants in the offense. Poplar improved his three-point shooting from 21.4% to 37.5% to 38.5% this past season. He also took 5.6 three-point shots per game.

Illinois’ lineup would get a major adjustment with Poplar in the mix. The locked-in starters for the Illini in my eyes are Boswell, Humrichous, and Morez Johnson Jr. I think Underwood can play around with Rodgers and White. My guess is that Poplar would take one of those starting jobs.

I love that the Illini aren’t toeing the line when it comes to the transfer portal. We lost everyone but two players. Let’s continue dominating the transfer portal and piece together a championship team.

Next. Projected Illinois basketball lineup with transfer portal addition of Ben Humrichous. Projected Illinois basketball lineup with transfer portal addition of Ben Humrichous. dark