CHAMPAIGN — Tomas Woldetensae's committmen to newly-crowned national champion Virginia took another option off Illinois' board when it comes to the Illini filling out their 2019-20 roster. Woldetensae's appeal was clear. The No. 9 overall junior college recruit in the country flashed lights out three-point shooting ability in his final season at Indian Hills (Iowa) Community College.
Woldetensae to the Cavaliers, though, means Illinois has to look elsewhere. And maybe not far.
Iowa's Isaiah Moss announced his intent to transfer on May 2, and he's readily available in the transfer portal. The 6-foot-5, 208-pound guard was a three-year starter for the Hawkeyes. He was in the starting lineup for every game the past two seasons and 96 straight dating back to his redshirt freshman season in 2016-17.
Moss set a career high shooting 42.1 percent from three-point range this past season. That included a 5 of 6 effort from beyond the arc in Iowa's 24-point win against Illinois on Jan. 20 in Iowa City, Iowa. Moss is a career 39.1 percent three-point shooter and averaged 9.2 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in his final season with the Hawkeyes.
The potential of a Moss-to-Illini connection would bring the Chicago native home. Moss is a Simeon grad and played with former Illinois guard D.J. Williams after transferring to the city powerhouse from Lincoln-Way East. Moss also played for Mac Irvin Fire.
Illinois has a long relationship with Simeon, but hasn't added a Wolverine since Williams, who transferred to George Washington. The Illini are recruiting current Simeon standouts Ahamad Bynum and AJ Casey in the 2021 and 2022 classes, respectively. Illinois also has a connection to Mac Irvin Fire, as current guards Ayo Dosunmu and Da'Monte Williams played for the program.