Kofi Cockburn and the Illini

Kofi Cockburn and the Illini

CHAMPAIGN — Kofi Cockburn had a front row seat for Illinois' 73-71 overtime loss to Florida Atlantic on Saturday at State Farm Center. Perhaps not the type of game a team wants a recruit to see, but the Illini are still in the hunt for the five-star center regardless of the upset.

Cockburn would be huge for Illinois. Literally. The No. 31 overall prospect in the 2019 class checks in at 6-foot-11 and 280 pounds. He's one of the most physically dominant players in his class.

Combine him with four-star commit Antwan January along with current big men Giorgi Bezhanishvili and Samba Kane? That's the type of frontcourt Illinois needs to be truly competitive.

Still, Cockburn hasn't made any official decision just yet. He's got UConn, Kansas, Pittsburgh and St. John's in his final five along with Illinois — although St. John's took a commitment from one-time Illini target Valdir Manuel over the weekend and might be out of the Cockburn sweepstakes.

Illinois (4-9, 0-2 Big Ten) needs some positive momentum as conference play resumes. Landing Cockburn would certainly qualify.