Good Morning, Illini Nation: Who got hit hardest by the portal?
May 14—Welcome to "Good Morning, Illini Nation," your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He'll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood's team:
It's too soon to parse through the hundreds upon hundreds of transfers and determine which teams won out in the latest round of roster reconstruction. Even the best, most ideal, moves on paper might not pan out on the basketball court. But it's easy to look at the portal and see which teams got hit the hardest with players leaving.
New Mexico State lost 16 players to the portal after its disastrous and ultimately canceled 2022-23 season. St. Francis Brooklyn's roster also hit the portal after the Terriers said they were dropping their entire athletics program. Austin Peay, Central Michigan, Green Bay, High Point, Iona, Long Island, Northwestern State, Southern Utah, St. John's, Tarleton State, Tulsa and UTSA all had double digit transfers out, too.
So Illinois losing RJ Melendez, Jayden Epps, Skyy Clark, Brandon Lieb, Connor Serven and Paxton Warden is nothing. Talent out the door, sure, but near the turnover of some programs.
Here's five power programs, though, that might not mind a reversion to the old way of doing things:
— Arizona State (9 out)
— Auburn (5 out, including top two frehsme nand AFlangian)
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— Butler (8 out)
— Creighton (6 out ... RN, AK)
— Florida State (5 out, Mills, Cleveland, Mcleod)
— Georgetown (9 out)
— Arizona State (7 out, Phillips, hayes, Miller)
— Louisville (8 out, Lands, Wither, Ellis, Wheeler)
— Michigan (Hunter lit the world on fire)
— Notre Dame (Starling and Cormac, 5 out)
— Oklahoma (6 out)
— Seton Hall (7 oout, Tyrese Samuel, Tray Jackson)
— St. John's (11 out)