Updated Illinois basketball transfer portal wish list includes a familiar name

It has been a crazy offseason, but the Illinois basketball team is not done adding from the transfer portal
Illinois v Michigan State
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Coleman Hawkins - Illinois Fighting Illini

The transfer portal is a funny place. Sometimes names pop up that you didn’t expect, and that is what happened a couple of days ago. Landing a familiar face like Coleman Hawkins would be huge for the Illini.

Coming out of Prolific Prep in California, Hawkins had solid recruiting attention. He was a three-star recruit who was ranked as the No. 167 player in the class of 2020. Hawkins could have played nearly anywhere in the country, but he picked Illinois as his landing spot.

Hawkins’ potential showed through early on. He quickly developed every tool in the basketball toolbox, and this helped him become one of the best players on the Illinois basketball team and in the Big Ten.

This past season, Hawkins was one of the leaders on an Illinois team that made it all the way to the Elite 8. He averaged 12.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game. He also shot a career-high 36.9% from three-point range.

In the past few weeks, Hawkins declared for the NBA Draft. On April 30, he remained in the draft process and said he is 100% committed to the process, but he also entered the transfer portal to keep his options open.

This move by Hawkins was smart for his career. The world is his oyster. I believe Hawkins will stay in the NBA Draft, but there is a chance he doesn’t hear what he needs to hear, and he will come back for one final season.

If that ends up being the case, game on. Illinois would have to fight for Hawkins. I believe there would be a bidding war for the kid. He would make a ton of money. While Illinois is likely the landing spot if he does come back, I think Arkansas would be another option. Hawkins was recruited by former Illini assistant coach Chin Coleman, who went to Kentucky and has now followed John Calipari to Arkansas.