Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk enters transfer portal

Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk enters transfer portal

Illinois junior forward Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk has entered the transfer portal, 247Sports has learned. The 6-foot-8, 235-pound forward played in 24 games last season with two starts, averaging 1.6 points and 2.1 rebounds on the season.

Bosmans-Verdonk helped fill in at center this season when Kofi Cockburn served a three-game suspension at the beginning of the season and then missed two games with a concussion, and he provided physicality, good rebounding and good passing. But he was otherwise a fringe rotation player who averaged just 17 minutes during the Illini’s last 15 games, which included several missed games due to a concussion.

“For the past three years, Illinois has been my home away from home,” Bosmans-Verdonk wrote on Twitter. “Thank you, Illini nation for welcoming me with open arms! I am forever indebted! After careful consideration, I have decided to enter the transfer portal with 3 years of eligibility remaining.”

Why it matters: Bosmans-Verdonk is the fourth Illini player to enter the transfer portal since the end of the season, joining Brandin Podziemsky, Omar Payne (Jacksonville commit) and Andre Curbelo (St. Johns committed). Illinois also has seen three players declare for the NBA Draft: two-time All-American center Kofi Cockburn and fifth-year senior wings Jacob Grandison and Austin Hutcherson. Three Illini starting seniors — Trent Frazier, Da’Monte Williams and Alfonso Plummer — also are out of eligibility.

So the Illini currently have just five scholarship players working out with the team on campus: RJ Melendez, Coleman Hawkins, Luke Goode, Dain Dainja and Brandon Lieb. The Illini bring in four freshmen who make up the No. 9 recruiting class in the country: guard skyy clark (No. 29 nationally), forward Ty Rodgers (No. 51), guard Jayden Epps (No. 61) and guard Sencire Harris (No. 110).

What it means: Illinois currently has four scholarships open. Bosmans-Verdonk was probably in line for a similar matchup-type role, so his departure isn’t a surprise nor is it that impactful. But Illinois clearly needs to add frontcourt help to go along with Hawkins, Dainja and Rodgers. The Illini have been involved with many different kinds of post players, like Ohio stretch forward Ben Vander Plas (who committed to Virginia) and NC State rim protector Manny Bates, and the versatility of Hawkins and Dainja allows them to pursue different types of players and make it match up. But the Illini likely need to add a transfer who can play 15-25 minutes in the frontcourt, and that is a role that should be appealing to a lot of players in the portal.

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