Cockburn returning to Illinois for sophomore yr

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Illinois large man Kofi Cockburn is returning to the Preventing Illini for his sophomore season, a call that establishes Brad Underwood’s program as reputable Massive Ten title contenders.The 7-footer had entered his title into the NBA draft within the spring however left his choices open to return to highschool and introduced his resolution Saturday. Cockburn wasn’t ranked within the high 100 of ESPN’s draft rankings and wasn’t a lock to be drafted.Cockburn, a local of Jamaica, averaged 13.three factors, 8.Eight rebounds and 1.four blocks as a freshman, successful the Massive Ten Freshman of the Yr award and incomes honorable point out All-Massive Ten honors. He notched 12 double-doubles, together with 5 within the first six video games of his profession and a 22-point, 15-rebound effort in opposition to Purdue in January.Cockburn’s resolution comes lower than 24 hours after teammate Ayo Dosunmu additionally introduced his intentions to withdraw from the NBA draft and return to Illinois. With Cockburn and Dosunmu — a possible preseason All-American — again within the fold, Underwood has a Massive Ten title contender and potential preseason top-10 crew on his palms.The Preventing Illini convey again 5 gamers who began not less than 22 video games final season, when Illinois received 5 of its last six video games to complete 13-7 within the Massive Ten and 21-10 general. The crew was poised for its first NCAA match look since 2013.Along with the returnees, Underwood brings in one of many high recruiting lessons within the league. High-50 guards Adam Miller and Andre Curbelo will push for minutes proper off the bat and can make an influence, whereas four-star ahead Coleman Hawkins might shock up entrance.

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