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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9. Kyle Wilson

Bill Self and the Illinois coaching staff were recruiting some great players in the early 2000s. The likes of Dee Brown and Deron Williams came from the class of 2002. Kyle Wilson was also a part of that group.

After a great final season at Dallas Jesuit High School in which he averaged 22.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 3.0 blocks, and 3.0 steals per game, Wilson had plenty of recruiting attention. He had teams like Northwestern, Stanford, and Notre Dame after him. Wilson ended up picking Illinois as his landing spot.

In 2002-03, for an Illinois team that made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament, Wilson managed to average 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds per game. His playing time would have surely increased following that freshman campaign, but Self left for Kansas, and Wilson exited as well.

Wilson didn’t follow Self to Kansas, though. His next stop was Wichita State. Wilson spent three seasons with the Shockers and blossomed as a player. He ended his Wichita State career averaging 11.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. He also shot 38.0% from three-point range.

Illinois was so close to winning a national title in 2005. I think back to those teams and having another solid 6-foot-8 player who could come in off the bench and give us good minutes would have been amazing. Wilson’s departure was a tough one for the program.