Top 3 UConn players Illinois basketball should target if Dan Hurley leaves

UConn could have their head coach depart for the NBA, and this could be an opportunity for the Illinois basketball team to pounce in the transfer portal
Duquesne v Illinois
Duquesne v Illinois / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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2. Aidan Mahaney – 6-foot-2, 150-pound, Guard

The more shooting the better, and adding someone like Aidan Mahaney would be a great option. If Dan Hurley leaves for the Los Angeles Lakers, Illinois would be smart to pursue Mahaney.

Coming out of Campolindo High School in California, Mahaney was overlooked by many programs. He was a four-star recruit who was ranked outside the top 130 nationally. Mahaney ended up picking Saint Mary’s as his landing spot.

Mahaney blossomed with the Gaels, though. In the two seasons he was with Saint Mary’s, he averaged 13.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. He developed into a really good three-point shooter as well, attempting 6.1 three-point shots per game and hitting them at a clip of 37.5%.

After his sophomore campaign, Mahaney entered the transfer portal. He was the No. 23 overall transfer in the class of 2024, and UConn came calling. In late April, Mahaney picked the Huskies as his next destination.

If Hurley ends up leaving for the NBA, Illinois going after Mahaney would be smart. Illinois has great utility players like Ty Rodgers, but we need shooting to surround him. Brad Underwood landed some good shooters out of the transfer portal already, but having someone like Mahaney come in and start would be optimal.

I think Mahaney starts alongside Kylan Boswell in the backcourt. I don’t think Mahaney would get all of the minutes, but he would likely be around 22-25 minutes per game. My guess is that he would be in a timeshare with a few players, but Underwood would have the flexibility to go deep on the bench.