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Former Illini basketball star Coleman Hawkins transfers to Kansas State

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One of the best bigs in the portal has committed to Kansas State. Former Illinois standout Coleman Hawkins announced Friday that he'll suit up for Jerome Tang's Wildcats for his final season of college basketball. 

Hawkins' NIL deal is slightly north of $2 million, sources told CBS Sports. Schools that were recruiting Hawkins in recent weeks were all willing to go north of $1.5 million to attain his commitment. Kansas State emerged as the favorite over the past week-plus.

Hawkins ranks in the top 20 of David Cobb's list of the best portal players in this year's cycle. It's a significant addition for a program looking for a bounce-back season in Tang's third year on the job. With Hawkins in the mix, Kansas State is likely to be a significant player in the new-look, 16-team Big 12.

After a four-year career with the Fighting Illini, Hawkins put his name into the NBA Draft process but ultimately opted to come back to college after receiving feedback he wasn't a surefire NBA pick. In choosing to return — and in going into the portal — he became one of the most sought-after talents on the market over the past six weeks. Hawkins picked Kansas State after considering the likes of North Carolina, LSU, Louisville, SMU, Arkansas and others. 

Hawkins averaged 12.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists last season. He also shot 36.9% from beyond the arc for the Illini. He'll join a K-State team that's completely made over its roster thanks to what's regarded as one of the largest NIL war chests in the sport. The Wildcats have added former Michigan guard Dug McDaniel (16.3 ppg), former Samford stretch four Achor Achor (16.1 ppg), former Cal State Fullerton combo guard Max Jones (15.3 ppg) and former Kentucky big Ugonna Onyenso (3.6 ppg), among others. K-State's lone semi-regular starer is David N'Guessan (7.8 ppg), who started 21 times last season. 

Few teams overhauled in the portal like the Wildcats. Hawkins could have All-American potential if he becomes the scoring centerpiece at a program that took a drop in offensive efficiency last season. K-State ranked 57th in offensive efficiency at in Tang's first season, which included a run to the Elite Eight. Last season the Wildcats went 19-15, missed the NCAAs, and had the 139th-ranked offense in college hoops. 

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