CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- College basketball’s transfer portal has claimed its first member of the 2020-21 Illinois roster.
Adam Miller, who started all 31 games of his freshman season for Illinois and was seen as a major part of the program’s future, announced his intentions to explore transfer options by putting his name in the portal.
ESPN.com reporter Jeff Borzello was first to report this development and was immediately followed by 247Sports.com reporter Travis Branham.
Miller, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound guard averaged 8.3 points and 2.8 rebounds and shot 39.1 percent from the field and 34 percent from beyond the three-point arc during Illinois’ run to a Big Ten Conference Tournament championship, a 1-seed in the 2021 NCAA tournament and easily the most successful Illini basketball season in 15 years.
Miller, who was a former high school teammate of Illini star guard Ayo Dosunmu after the Peoria native elected to transfer to Morgan Park High School in Chicago, signed with the Illini after being named the 2020 Illinois Mr. Basketball after averaging 27.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and 2.3 steals in senior season.
Miller didn’t waste any time showcasing his ability on the offensive end after setting the freshman-debut scoring record with 28 points in the season-opening blowout win over North Carolina A&T on Nov. 25.
Miller, along with freshman point guard Andre Curbelo, was expected to bridge the Illini perimeter attack into the future after veterans Dosunmu and graduating guards Trent Frazier and Da’Monte Williams left the program.
“Adam was a big part of our success this season, starting every game as a freshman and contributing not just on offense but defensively as well," Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said in a university statement. "He has a very bright future ahead, and we wish him all the best.”
According to NCAA rules, a player can’t be officially contacted by coaches of other programs until he officially puts his name in the transfer portal. However, the player can withdraw his name at any point and return to his original school if the original school agrees to put him back on scholarship aid.
If Miller doesn’t pull his name out of the portal and return to the Illini program, Illinois may lose four of five starters and five of its top six scorers from a remarkable 2020-21 roster. Despite being in his junior season, Dosunmu went through Senior Day this season and therefore, is supposed to enter the 2021 NBA draft but sophomore center Kofi Cockburn could elect to enter the draft after exploring the draft process and returning to college this past season.
As of today, Curbelo, who was named the 2021 Big Ten's Sixth Man of the Year recipient, is the only player with significant experience from this past season who is guaranteed to return to Champaign next fall.
If Miller elects to transfer elsewhere, he would be the third player (Miller, Alan Griffin and Samba Kane) to elect to transfer from Illinois in the last three seasons and ninth player to do so since the end of the 2017-18 season. However, Miller is the first Illini former starter in the Underwood era to enter the transfer portal.