Illinois Basketball: The good, the bad, and the expectations for Kofi Cockburn – Writing Illini - Techy Hunters

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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Illinois Basketball: The good, the bad, and the expectations for Kofi Cockburn – Writing Illini

Illinois basketball

Mar 14, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini center Kofi Cockburn (21) attempts a dunk against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

We are less than a week away from the first Illinois basketball exhibition game and less than four weeks away from the regular season.

If you haven’t started already, it is time to get excited about the upcoming Illini campaign. The Orange and Blue are projected as one of the top teams in the nation and for a good reason. Illinois has some of the best talent in the world, starting with their leading big man, Kofi Cockburn.

Here are the good, the bad, and the expectations for Illinois basketball big man Kofi Cockburn in 2021-22.

Good

I mean, honestly, have you seen a more physically imposing player ever suit up for the Illinois basketball program?

The answer is simply, no. If you said yes, you are lying. Illinois fans have not seen a player like Kofi come through the program and, surprisingly, he returned for one more year of complete dominance in the paint.

I could put Kofi’s 17.7 points per game last season as the “good”, but it is bigger than that. I could put his 9.5 rebounds per game, but his “good” is bigger than that.

The “good” for Kofi isn’t a number but a group of numbers. His “good” is his physical dominance. Kofi only played 27 minutes per game and was still able to average 17.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per contest.

Most teams have zero answers for Kofi but even when they do, he is still able to do work. Iowa had one of the best big men in the country with Luka Garza, who is now in the NBA. Kofi put up 26 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 block against Garza last season.

Even in the disappointing loss to Loyola-Chicago, Kofi ended the night with 21 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. He is easily the best big man in the country, and it is due to his physical dominance on the court.

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