Illinois basketball continues to grab headlines on the transfer portal, this time we are targeting one of the greatest players available.
The Illini have been in contact with various transfers in the portal so far. We managed to hook Terrence Shannon Jr., who will be an instant starter on the wing. But there are still a few spots available on the Illinois roster. One of the names we are targeting now is Matthew Mayer.
Coming out of Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, Mayer was a four-star rookie ranked 92nd player in the Class of 2018. He was also the nation’s 21st small forward and 4th. outgoing player from Texas.
Mayer had quite a few scholarship offers but would stay in his home state and play for the Baylor Bears. Mayer’s four years with the Bears were pretty impressive. Last season, he managed to average 9.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. With one year of eligibility remaining, Mayer is now on the hunt for a new home after entering the transfer portal.
On Thursday, it was officially announced that Illinois had thrown their hat in the ring for Mayer. According to Stadium.com’s Jeff Goodman, Illinois is one of many teams to contact the Baylor star.
Transfer from Baylor Matthew Mayer has heard from Texas Tech, UNC, USC, Memphis, Alabama, Arkansas and Illinois, among others, he told me.
Mayer currently works in Chicago. Still undecided between staying in the NBA Draft or going back to college.
—Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 5, 2022
Illinois basketball is trying to stretch the ground through the transfer gate.
I think the Illini are going to sport a long athletic roster that can shoot the ball this fall and winter. It wouldn’t shock me to see Coleman Hawkins start in 5th place even though he’s a more natural No. 4.
Adding Mayer would give Illinois another big man who can run the field well and can knock down shots from distance. In his junior year, he hit 39.5 percent from three-point range. If we could get that version of Mayer, Illinois would win a ton of games.
Mayer is also 6-foot-9, meaning he could play No. 4 while Hawkins – who is 6-foot-10 – could be at No. 5. I would then move RJ Melendez to the No. 3 spot. He is 6 feet 7 inches tall. Illinois would have an extremely large range.
I wrote about three potential players Illinois could add from the transfer portal that would help the frontcourt. Meyer was in this room. I think he would be a great addition and could help us get through the second round.