Connect with us


Illinois Basketball Loses Big Man to Transfer Portal

Illinois Basketball lost a big-man to the transfer portal on Monday



Illinois Basketball Finalizing Agreement to Play Blue Blood Program
Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball Loses Big Man to Transfer Portal

It was announced on Monday that Illinois Basketball 5-man Dain Dainja has entered the transfer portal. The Junior from Brooklyn Park Minnesota had a productive late and post-season for the Illini. As the staff grew more comfortable with Dain in the offense, he began to grow confident in his game.  That confidence seemed to be high, as the 6’9, 270 lb forward was making big shots for the Illini. Furthermore, bringing energy to the floor in much-needed post-season situations. However, as this program continues to evolve and reflect fresh off of an elite 8-run, tough decisions have to be made in this business. Illinois Basketball and Dain seemed to both have a mutual respect for where the direction of both parties was headed.

This will be Dainja’s third round in the portal. The young man originally started at Baylor as a freshman in 2021-22, before transferring to Illinois until 2024.



Dainja averaged 6.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game for Illinois in 2024. Certainly not the most exhilarating numbers on paper, but as stated, Dain was a creator of energy. With the proper offensive fit, the former Illini 5 can be a star for another program. Brad Underwood will have to replace his production, in a front court unit that is already handling a lot of moving parts.

F Quincy Guerrier played his last game in an Illinois uniform vs UConn. Of course, (most likely) star F Coleman Hawkins will also exit for the NBA as a projected 2nd round pick. Currently, Freshman forward Armani Hansberry and incoming Freshman forward Morez Johnson are Illinois front court players  for 2024-25. However, I would expect Illinois to add another guy from the portal. The transfer market is on fire, and I would expect Underwood to continue to remain very active.

Names to Watch

Florida Atlantic big man Vladislav Goldin entered his name into the portal on Monday. The 7’1 Forward has been a monster for the Owl’s, and has decided to test the market’s waters. Certainly a guy that will have a lot of suitors. There has been no confirmed indication that Illinois nor any program has had conversations wit Goldin, as the news is still very fresh at the time of this articles release.

Rutgers Forward Cliff Omoruyi is another high level talent, that has seen a lot of minuets in the Big Ten. The Nigerian native stands in at 6’11, and 240lbs. An athletic big, that would be a great fit in Underwood’s high intensity style of play.

Former NIU F Xavier Amos is a recent portal entry that Illinois has already been in conversations with. The 6’8 Sophomore Forward averaged 14 points and 6 rebounds per game for the Huskies in 2024.  The Chicago native has built a slew of interest, including Illinois, Texas, Kansas, Virginia, Xavier, Cal, and VCU. A realistic get for this staff, that does make a ton of sense at the end of the day.

Stanford 5-man Maxime Raynaud  is a 7’1, 250lb Junior, who is one of, if not the best big man prospect in the portal. The young man from Paris France averaged 15.5 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in 2024. A near double-double average, to pair with a 57% shooting average. As well as shooting 36% from behind the arc. Certainly, a great player, that will elevate whoever team he decides to hoop for in 2o25.


Thank you for reading Armchair Illini. For more Illinois Athletics and Big Ten content from Armchair Illini, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email our Publisher at Please use our Seatgeek code for $20 off your purchase on ARMCHAIRILLINOIS. It is because of your support that we have become one of the fastest-growing Illinois media outlets around!

Kirkland is a go-to source for Illinois athletics news. He is the lead Football analyst at Armchair Illini and has been featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, Yard Barker, Autograph, Newsbreak, CBS Sports and more.