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
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Omar Payne

There are always players who are highly rated coming out of high school but never really live up to their ranking. Omar Payne was one of those players who had potential but never really panned out.

The 6-foot-9, 215-pound big man was highly touted coming out of Montverde Academy in Florida. He was rated as a four-star recruit and ranked as the No. 45 player in the class of 2019. He was also the No. 11 center in the country and the No. 8 player coming out of Florida.

Payne was wanted by many but ended up landing with Florida. In year one with the Gators, he averaged 3.8 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game. He followed that up with a sophomore season where he averaged 3.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks per contest.

After the sophomore campaign, Payne wanted to see his game develop, so he entered the transfer portal on March 30, 2021. Payne ended up picking Illinois as his landing spot on April 7.

Payne ended up playing in 32 games and started three contests for the Illini in 2021-22. He averaged 1.8 points and 1.7 rebounds in 7.4 minutes per game. After this lone season with the Orange and Blue, Payne was back in the transfer portal once again.

On April 2, 2022, Payne left the Illini and entered the transfer portal. On April 13, he picked Jacksonville as his landing spot. With the Dolphins, Payne averaged 4.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game. Wanting to take his talents to a higher level again, Payne decided to enter the transfer portal.

On April 14, 2023, Payne entered the transfer portal. On April 26, he picked UCF as his landing spot. This past season with the Knights, Payne averaged 4.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks in 33 games, 14 of which were starts. UCF finished 17-16 overall.