Illinois basketball looking at big MAC scorer in transfer portal

The transfer portal is wide-open, and the Illinois basketball team has been in contact with one of the leading scorers coming out of the MAC.
Akron Zips guard Ali Ali (24) attempts to block the shot of Bowling Green Falcons guard Marcus Hill
Akron Zips guard Ali Ali (24) attempts to block the shot of Bowling Green Falcons guard Marcus Hill / Jeff Lange / USA TODAY NETWORK

Illinois basketball needs to add a big-time scorer to the roster for the 2024-25 season, and one of the most recent transfer portal options may be the answer.

The Illini will be losing some key pieces from this season’s Elite 8 run. Terrence Shannon Jr. is departing, and that alone is 23.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.0 steals per game that need to be replaced.

Finding a player who can replace that type of production is going to be difficult. Despite everyone and their mother entering the transfer portal, Brad Underwood is tasked with finding players who fit the scheme and will work well with the rest of the players on the team.

Someone like Marcus Hill might be an option for the Illini. Hill is a 6-foot-4, 185-pound guard who played for Bowling Green last season but is originally from Rockford, Illinois.

On Saturday, Jamie Shaw of reported that Hill has heard from a number of programs across the country since he entered his name into the transfer portal. Among the teams that are contacting the talented guard is Illinois.

I have some hesitancy about transfer portal guard Marcus Hill coming to the Illinois basketball program

Hill started his collegiate career at Southern Union State Community College. He averaged 26.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game in his final season with Southern Union. Hill then transferred out and landed with Bowling Green for the 2023-24 campaign.

With Bowling Green, Hill averaged 20.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.0 steals per game. He earned All-MAC first-team honors and was great for the Falcons.

I do have a concern when it comes to Hill, though. While his numbers look good, he comes up short in an area that is extremely important for the Illini this offseason, and that is three-point shooting.

Hill isn’t a good three-point shooter. In his last season with Southern Union, he attempted 53 three-pointers and hit them at a clip of 26.4%. In the lone season with Bowling Green, Hill attempted 90 three-point shots and hit them at a clip of 28.9%.

I love a good aggressive downhill player, but we all saw what that gets us when we go up against a 7-foot or bigger big man. Illinois needs more outside shooting heading into next season. Underwood has always said he would love it if Illinois shot more three-pointers.

Hill has a lot of talent, but his three-point shooting worries me. Illinois, as of right now, only has a couple of scholarships available, and I want a perimeter shooter. Hill doesn’t exactly fit that need for me.

Next. Early projected Illinois basketball lineup for the 2024-25 season. Early projected Illinois basketball lineup for the 2024-25 season. dark