Of Iowa, Kofi and MSG

Of Iowa, Kofi and MSG

CHAMPAIGN — Sunday wasn't a total bust for Illinois basketball fans. The 24-point loss at Iowa stung. Especially since it came after the most complete game the Illini had played all season when they snapped their Big Ten losing streak with a 27-point win against Minnesota.

But there was still good news to be had for Illinois fans Sunday evening. While IMG Academy might have taken down Oak Hill Academy in the Hoophall Classic in Springfield, Mass., Class of 2019 Illini commit Kofi Cockburn put up 17 points and eight rebounds and tore the rim off — metaphorically at least — with another highlight reel-worthy dunk.

Cockburn represents something Illinois hasn't had, maybe ever, in a powerhouse center able to bend defenders to his will with his size and strength on the block. The 2019-20 Illini will have the full complement of bigs in Cockburn, Giorgi Bezhanishvili (crafty moves in the post and potential to stretch the floor), Samba Kane (rim protector) and fellow 2019 commit Antwan January (a mix of all those same skills).

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