After just one season in Champaign, junior forward Omar Payne has again entered the transfer portal after announcing on Twitter he will be leaving the Illinois Fighting Illini. Payne played in 32 games for the Illini, starting in three of them.
April 2, 2022
Payne arrived in Champaign as a transfer after two seasons at Florida. While with the Gators, he played in 54 games, starting in 15, and averaged 3.8 points per game, 3.4 rebounds per game, and 1.2 blocks per game while averaging 15.4 minutes per game.
While at Illinois, Payne averaged just 7.4 mpg during which he added 1.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg, and just 0.8 bpg. His limited minutes this past season make sense when remembering he played backup to All-American Kofi Cockburn, but it also has not yet been announced whether Cockburn will be leaving for the 2022 NBA Draft as of yet. Cockburn also returned last season after initially entering his name in the draft and then the transfer portal.
When Payne did see floor action, he seemed to struggle with foul trouble. The junior forward averaged 10 fouls per 40 minutes as an Illini.
Payne is the second Illinois player to enter the portal so far this season. Andre Curbelo announced he was entering the transfer portal near the end of last month.