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Jayden Epps entering transfer portal

The freshman standout is a one-and-done in Champaign.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament First Round-Illinois vs Arkansas Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Guard Jayden Epps announced Tuesday that he is entering the transfer portal after one season at Illinois.

“After careful considerations and discussions with my family, I have decided to enter the transfer portal,” Epps said on twitter. “I am confident that this is the best decision for my future and personal growth.”

As arguably the best freshman the team had, this is big news for Illinois as it’ll need to build backcourt depth for next season.

This past year, Epps averaged just under 10 points a game, along with 1.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He shot better than 41% from the field and showed off some nice skills around the basket, especially for a guard.

Epps broke the 20-point mark once in the win over Monmouth (21 points), but put up 15 or more in a few other games to give the Illini their best chance to win.

Two of the noteworthy appearances this season for Epps were against Texas and Iowa.

In the Texas game, not only did Epps hit a three-pointer to make it two-point game late, he then got fouled the next possession and sank both free throws to send it to overtime. Obviously, that turned out to be one of the two biggest wins for Illinois this season.

Iowa, on the other hand, was a hard-fought loss, but still a game in which Epps exploded. After not doing much in the first half, Epps decided to take measures into his own hands on the road and try to win the game himself. He scored 14 second-half points, including 12 in a row by himself, to try and nearly lead Illinois to a road win.

While Epps has announced he won’t be returning, key contributors Luke Goode and Dain Dainja have both already announced plans to return, and Sencire Harris has been active on social media with fans and teammates (which we can assume means he’ll be returning).