CHAMPAIGN — Illinois got its second transfer of the spring on Friday, bolstering its wing depth and adding length.
Former Baylor wing Matthew Mayer committed to the Illini on his Instagram page Friday, giving the team another player with size at 6-foot-9. Mayer was a top-100 recruit in the 2018 class, and averaged 9.8 points while starting 33 games for the Bears last season. He chose Illinois over North Carolina, Memphis and Texas Tech.
He averaged 8.1 points and shot 48.9% from the field and 39% from 3 during Baylor’s national title season in 2020-21.
Now Illinois has the option of running lineups with three players 6’9 or taller with Mayer, Coleman Hawkins and another Baylor transfer in 7-footer Dain Dainja.
With Texas Tech transfer Terrence Shannon Jr. at the off guard position, that’s four players taller than 6’6 for a team that was forced to run multiple three guard lineups last season and struggled against bigger wings.
Illinois now has two scholarships remaining for next season. With Mayer, Hawkins, Luke Goode, RJ Melendez and four-star freshman Ty Rodgers the team is likely set at the wing position. All of those players except for Hawkins were top-100 prospects coming out of high school.
The Illini have a pair of guards in Skyy Clark and Jayden Epps leading their incoming class that’s ranked No. 9 in the country per 247sports, but the team could use some guard depth and experience. It also is currently planning on replacing Kofi Cockburn with Dainja and could use another transfer big man as a depth option.
Mayer gives Illinois seven newcomers, with each being a four-star or higher out of high school.
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Terrence Shannon Jr.
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