Top 10 most painful Illinois basketball transfer portal departures of all time

While it is amplified in today's game, the transfer portal has always had its grip on the Illinois basketball team
Penn State v Illinois
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1. Brandin Podziemski

We get to the No. 1 most pain transfer portal departure in program history. You could see the potential in Brandin Podziemski not only on the court but in his preparation. This kid worked his butt off, and his career trajectory is showing his hard work paying off.

Podziemski was a good player coming out of St. John’s Northwestern Academies in Wisconsin. He 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 did a great job recruiting the Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year. We were able to snag Podziemski, and the future was supposed to be bright with him coming to Champaign.

Podziemski didn’t see much playing time as a freshman, though. He averaged 1.4 points and 0.9 rebounds in just 4.3 minutes per game. It was frustrating because you could tell this kid was going to be good.

Sadly, after his freshman season, Podziemski entered the transfer portal. He ended up picking Santa Clara as his landing spot. With the Broncos, Podziemski’s game blossomed. He averaged 19.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game.

After his great first season with Santa Clara, Podziemski entered the NBA Draft. He was selected No. 19 overall by the Golden State Warriors. He averaged 9.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game as a rookie with the Warriors and was widely regarded as one of the best young rookies in the NBA.

It pains me to think Illinois let a future first-round pick in the NBA Draft transfer out of the program. Podziemski could have helped the Illini get to a better place during the 2022-23 campaign. He was a special player in college, and this was the most painful transfer portal departure in program history.

Next. Projected Illinois basketball lineup after Luke Goode entered the transfer portal. Projected Illinois basketball lineup after Luke Goode entered the transfer portal. dark