Illinois basketball continues to probe the transfer portal, as there is a new name of interest for the program.
While adding players to the class of 2022 has been something that is coming easy to Brad Underwood and the Illini coaching staff, the transfer portal has not been nearly as friendly this offseason. Illinois has lost three players to the transfer portal and hasn’t been able to bring anyone in since the 2021-22 campaign ended.
But the lack of new bodies isn’t for a lack of effort. Illinois is gauging the interest of some of the top transfers in the nation. One of the newest names on the list is David Jones.
That name could sound familiar to some Illini fans. Coming out of Teays Valley Christian School, Jones was a top target for the Orange and Blue. He actually had Illinois in his top seven at one time. It felt like Illinois was close to landing him, but he would end up picking DePaul.
Jones spent two seasons with the Blue Demons. He averaged 5.1 points and 2.7 rebounds in just nine games in year one. This past season, Jones’ game really blossomed. He started in 27 contests and averaged 29.9 minutes per game. During his time on the court, Jones put up 14.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.0 blocks. Those are really good numbers.
Just a little over a week ago, Jones decided to enter the transfer portal. He has received a lot of interest since then, and according to Travis Branham of 247Sports, Illinois is one of the many schools to show interest in the star wing.
DePaul transfer David Jones has received interest from Oregon, Ohio State, Maryland, Illinois and West Virginia among many others, a source told @247SportsPortal.
— Travis Branham (@TravisBranham_) April 25, 2022
David Jones would be a great transfer portal addition for the Illinois basketball program.
I am not just saying this because Illinois has failed to land a transfer this offseason, but Jones would be a big get for the Orange and Blue. This kid can play, and he stepped his game up in a big way this past season.
Jones put up some impressive numbers against good teams during the 2021-22 campaign. He finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, and he hit 4-of-7 from three-point range against No. 11 Providence. Against ranked Xavier and Seton Hall squads, Jones put up back-to-back 20-point nights.
There is no doubt Jones can play. I think he would come into the program and start at the No. 3 spot from day one. Just spitballing here, but I would have the starting lineup look something like this; No. 1 Skyy Clark, No. 2 Luke Goode, No. 3 Jones, No. 4 RJ Melendez, and No. 5 Coleman Hawkins. That is a lineup that could do damage.
Illinois is trying to add another couple of players for the 2022-23 season. Jones is a very intriguing option. Hopefully, we can be a serious contender here and land us a big-time transfer.