Ayo Dosunmu, Kofi Cockburn return for 2020-2021 season

New York
man, we have some talent next year. Stacked at guard. If Kofi comes back we’re better than good at the 5. we’ve got some reasonable options at the 4 between Williams, Grandison, Giorgi, and maybe BBV/Hawkins

hopes:
1. Kofi comes back
2. Season happens
3. We stay healthy and team meshes well
4.... natty
 
C'mon Kofi.

Starters
Ayo Trent Damonte Giorgi and Kofi

I'm thinking I like these groupings though in sub patterns

Ayo Miller Kofi
Curbelo Trent Giorgi

Gives teams two different looks and hard to prepare for.
Think your starters are crunch time players but think maybe will balance some of that defense in the rotation. Also with rebounding of Ayo and DaMonte could go with Grandy at the 4. BU has some really nice problems to deal with playing time.
 
Herndon, VA
I think he came back to have a chance to erase that last second blown tire on his winning layup against Mich St.
That still sticks in my craw to this day.
 
Chevy Chase, Maryland
I just rolled up to the monitor with my morning coffee and pulled up the site for the first time since the news broke of Lou's passing. Nearly spit out a mouthful when I saw that Ayo's coming back.

What I remember most about that '05 team was Dee and his relentless drive to improve. I recall an article about the team in StL preparing for the Braggin' Rights game his junior (?) year. When practice was over, he voluntarily went to the baseline and started running suicides. With a smile on his face. Deron and others joined him. He made a race of it with everyone and goaded them 'cause he was beating them. That's leadership. Ayo has that potential as a junior for the underclassmen. Beyond his penchant for stone-cold, consistent, game-ending heroics, that's what has me most excited about next season now.

I just got a lot less concerned about the 8-10 ppg we lost when Alan bolted.

ILL-!!!!!
 
I gotta give to Ayo.

It has to be difficult to keep your cool in this sort of crazy, unprecedented situation. And yet, he's shown maturity every step we've witnessed, even before he was in an Illinois uniform. I'm not talking about the outcome here --obviously as fans we're thrilled --I'm talking about the way he's handled himself through the gauntlet that was 2019-20 basketball and beyond. Thoughtful, patient, restrained. Fun to watch him as a player, but also as a leader. And I think that permeates the culture, especially when you have so many other guys with toughness and drive.

Said it before, but the BIG will be loaded. We won't be the only team fighting for a high seed in the dance, and there's so much chaos with the pandemic, social unrest and politics, and colleges struggling to adapt. There's still a lotta adversity to come, work to sort out line-ups, bring the new guys up to speed, etc.. But it sure is fun to get a piece of really good news for us fans, and see the level of success these guys have worked for.
 
Fantastic news indeed.

Taking Ayo's decision in isolation (i.e., not thinking about celebrating on Sunday), it should provide benefits to the program that extend well beyond this coming season. The choice to return for another year, while not easy, speaks to BU & Co.'s ability to develop talent and to the trust Ayo has that the staff (and team) to get him tor ready for the NBA.

Current draft status notwithstanding, he chose to return to Illinois over the other options available to him. And while I understand that each player has their own background and needs that drive their respective decisions, current / future recruits and parents / handlers should take notice of the facts that the culture has changed, investment in recruiting and player development has vastly improved, and players want to play for this team and its staff. After doing so, they may think more favorably of or look deeper into the program and its position to compete. The effects may be gradual; recruiting is fluid, after all. However, citing Nesbitt's visit recap, it is entirely possible that watching Ayo's development could move the needle in our favor and yield several quick, positive returns.

Should the dream scenario happen and we are celebrating on Sunday, the team still needs to win. I have no doubt that it will given the coaching, talent and a "win this for us, win this for Lou" mantra, but it needs to happen before recruits / media are forced to take notice.
 
Thanks, Dan. Fabulous compilation.

I don't know exactly why but clips that Iowa game at SFC give me chills. Start-to-finish it was classic BT hoops. With the happiest ending possible when Kofi stuffed Luka at the buzzer.

More, please.
He may get the chance to do it again. Luka will make an announcement tomorrow.
 
Likes: altgeld88
I'm Ron Burgundy?
Texas
I feel like the sports media has just been waiting for Illinois' return to relevancy. Gives me the warm & fuzzies to hear the talking heads of college basketball giving the 🔶 & 🔷 some love and finally bringing them into the conversation. Great for the team, recruiting, and Illini Nation. Get ready for oodles of SC top 10 appearances!
 
Great News for Illini everywhere....hopefully this will be a great move for Ayo....don't know and really don't care if this decision was made with Ayo's best interests in mind or if it was a combination of what was best for Ayo and some unfinished business for his team and the university....hoping and praying that this season plays without interruption and Ayo reaches his goals and leads the Illini to championship(s).....and then is rewarded with a NBA top pick and lots of money next summer....the young man deserves all this
 
I think there’s about a 0% chance Curbelo starts. I know we are all really high on him, but Miller is more likely to be the day one contributor and will be better off the ball. Trent starts at the point with Ayo and Miller or Ayo and Damonte.
You may be right there's 0% chance he starts at the beginning of the season, but don't be surprised if he's starting by the end of it. Kid is special and is going to be a star here for years to come.
 
Likes: IllGuardU
Chevy Chase, Maryland
I think there’s about a 0% chance Curbelo starts. I know we are all really high on him, but Miller is more likely to be the day one contributor and will be better off the ball. Trent starts at the point with Ayo and Miller or Ayo and Damonte.
IMO, the more competition and guidance from upperclassmen for Andre and Adam as freshmen, the better they're going to be as sophomores.
 
He
Great News for Illini everywhere....hopefully this will be a great move for Ayo....don't know and really don't care if this decision was made with Ayo's best interests in mind or if it was a combination of what was best for Ayo and some unfinished business for his team and the university....hoping and praying that this season plays without interruption and Ayo reaches his goals and leads the Illini to championship(s).....and then is rewarded with a NBA top pick and lots of money next summer....the young man deserves all this
He will be 21 when next year's draft comes around so he will be ok. I think he can work his way into the first round. I'm just wondering what number Curbelo is going to wear now.
 
Likes: Oskeefan
This maybe the strongest team with the most depth of any team in recent history. The coaching staff must be smiling ear to ear. Their job is going to be tough. Can’t wait for the season to start.
 
Chicago, IL
This requires a bit of prognostication, but here are (soon to be) my six favorite Illini Teams & Starting Line-Ups all time.

1. 2021 (28-1 - National Champs) Dosumu, Cockburn, Miller, Curbelo, Bezhanishvili and coached by BRAD UNDERWOOD
2. 2005 (37-2 - NCAA runner-up) Augustine, Brown, Head, Williams, Powell and coached by BRUCE WEBER
3. 1989 (31-5 - Final 4) Gill, Bardo, Battle, Anderson, Hamilton and coached by LOU HENSON
4. 1984 (26-5 - Elite 8) Winters, Montgomery, Altenberger, Douglas, Richardson and coached by LOU HENSON
5. 2001 (27-8 - Elite 8) Williams, Cook, Griffin, McClain, Bradford and coached by BILL SELF
6. 1969 (19-5 - 2nd Big 10) Scholz, Jackson, Price, Harrison, Crews and coached by HARV SCHMIDT
Who do we lose to?
 
Likes: Goode-for-3