Illinois basketball transfer portal departures, where are they now?

The transfer portal has been good and bad to the Illinois basketball team. Here is what some of the Illini departures are doing today.
Mar 23, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood leads a team huddle
Mar 23, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood leads a team huddle / Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports
4 of 9

Brandin Podziemski

There are some players you can look back on and say, yeah, that one hurts a lot. This is the case with guard, Brandin Podziemski. He blossomed into a superstar player, and this is one that hurts the most.

Coming out of St. John’s Northwestern Academies in Wisconsin, the 6-foot-5, 195-pound guard was rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 72 player in the class of 2021. He was also the No. 15 shooting guard in the country and the No. 3 player coming out of Wisconsin.

Illinois was able to go into Wisconsin and snag the Wisconsin Mr. Basketball. That was an impressive feat for Brad Underwood. We also started to really dive into the transfer portal that season.

As a freshman, Podziemski played in 16 games for the Illini and averaged 1.4 points and 0.9 rebounds per game. He didn’t get off the bench too often, and with more experience coming in via the transfer portal, it only made sense for him to transfer.

On April 12, 2022, Podziemski entered the transfer portal. About a month later, he would sign with Santa Clara, which proved to be a great move for the star guard.

Podziemski blossomed with the Broncos. As a sophomore, he averaged 19.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.8 steals in the 32 games he started. He also took 5.8 three-point attempts per game and hit them at a clip of 43.8%.

After his first season with Santa Clara and second season in college basketball, Podziemski declared for the NBA Draft. He was selected by the Golden State Warriors with pick No. 19 in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft.

Podziemski has to deal with players like Victor Wembanyama, so he isn’t going to win the Rookie of the Year, but he is still having a great rookie season. He is averaging 9.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game alongside the likes of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.