Kofi Cockburn declares for NBA Draft

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So, this is a silly question, but we have very little else to talk about so let’s go down a rabbit hole...

I just rewatched the highlights from the second Iowa game, and that first alley oop Kofi really shook the rim. If the basket breaks there, does he then get more national pub/Shaq comparisons and ultimately help his draft stock?
 
So, this is a silly question, but we have very little else to talk about so let’s go down a rabbit hole...

I just rewatched the highlights from the second Iowa game, and that first alley oop Kofi really shook the rim. If the basket breaks there, does he then get more national pub/Shaq comparisons and ultimately help his draft stock?
Nope, the NBA wants guys that can play/score out on the open floor.
 
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Nope, the NBA wants guys that can play/score out on the open floor.
I know the NBA game has changed, but wouldn't an NBA GM draft Shaq in a heartbeat, even with in the modern game? And if a GM gets convinced Kofi is the second coming of Shaq, maybe they roll the dice? And breaking a basket helps with that association?

Again, silly, but who knows.
 
Rockford, IL
Nonsense. Every scout, at every NBA franchise, knows who's available, who they're most likely to have a shot at, etc. They have a ton of quantitative and qualitative data they're sorting through.

Ayo's shown the ability to drive at an elite level, play in transition, and be THE MAN, but he has some serious questions. A guard shooting 30% from 3? A:T of 1.3? GMs are more statistically driven than ever, and looking for missing pieces, or at least value. Ayo has some real question marks, and those two areas did not improve in his sophomore season, even though he played better overall. I think part of the issue is that we sucked early in the season. Underwood himself said he struggled sticking with the plan as guys were trying to pick up everything and didn't really gel until almost half way into the season.

The pandemic hitting the post-season really hurt his chances. He could have erased a lot of those questions with a good showing over tourney competition. Unfortunately, that's just another piece of adversity. If he comes back, we might have too many weapons for teams to key off him, and won't be asked to do as much. Whatever his path, he's been special here. As far as I'm concerned, he's among the greats we've had.
If you don't see a player every day all your data ain't worth squat. Ayo is first round material now. If, as you agree, he's one of our best ever, why do most not have him being drafted in either round, data? Rajon Rondo couldn't shoot yet he led the Celtics to a title in 2008 with a very similar game. I hope he comes back. If not, I hope the Celtics take him. I've been watching basketball for 60 years and Ayo can get it done at the next level now. Winner.
 
New Orleans
Will little revenue, but still a lot of expenses, and no certainty of the future, I would think NBA teams would hesitate to write big checks to potential players unless they are pretty much a 'sure thing' to succeed.
 
Very puzzling what Ayo's negative momentum could be...
Some of his stats went down slightly compared to his freshman year, particular 3P shooting (35% to 29%). But momentum sounds like a perception thing, and in that regard, I get the impression he was more highly regarded at the end of this past season than at the end of his freshman season.
 
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There is so much going on here...

1. Covid-19 obviously puts a huge question mark on when or if next season actually starts. I know some may think its crazy to say that the upcoming season may not be played, but I personally think its a possibility, and when it does start...with fans? Without fans? Are they still traveling state to state? Does Ayo or Kofi want to be a part of an upcoming season that may be played with a very different experiance then normal.

2. The NBA draft im sure will continue as followed since the NFL was able to do it. Will Ayo and Kofi be able to do personal workouts for teams? Will doing everything via Zoom or any other platform make either of them stand out positively or negatively? Will there be a combine? Maybe a combine helps Kofi but hurts Ayo? Or vice versa?

3. The new rules regarding the NCAA and players keeping their likeness and image. When do these rules apply? Next year? If I'm Ayo specifically, if I am "The man" on campus with some of this language now in place, its is actually more beneficial for me to stay at Illinois and soak that in.

4. What are scouts saying? I would say most of the board sees Ayo as early second rounder/maybe late first. I have not read much of anything to suggest Ayo will be drafted at all...let alone a late first rounder. And Kofi seems to not even be sniffing mock draft boards. Does Ayo want to leave to be a late second round pick and immediatly stashed in the G-League? Maybe that IS his motivation and thats completely OK. If you're Kofi maybe you have the complete opposite mindset.

5. What are either of their thoughts on plauing oversees? Either could do very well playing professionally overseas...but its not for everyone.

Ive been saying that I think Ayo leaves and Kofi stays. But both look to be bottom tier draft picks who would benefit from coming back. I do hope they heed to good advice.

We have to keep in mind that these are kids.

There is ALOT to think about for them right now.
 
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We’d be a few key improvements away from being a title contender:
1) Ayo, Damonte improve their 3pt stroke (and Frazier finds it again)
2) Freshman coming in, and playing as expected
3) someone stepping up at 4 (aka Grandison living up to the hype, and/or BVV/Giorgi stepping up)

These things happen and Illinois could be a final four team.
I feel confident we would be a title contender regardless of your 3 points except for maybe point # 2 specifically with Adam Miller being our 3 pt shooter that we know he can be. Ayo and Damonte wouldn't have to improve their 3 pt stroke but would definitely increase our chances. I think it's reasonable to think that Frazier had a slump year in shooting and will bounce back and if Hutcherson sees some decent minutes he can shoot as well. Someone stepping up at the 4 is a very reasonable expectation with either Giorgi stepping up, Grandison living up to the hype, or Coleman/Bosmans-Verdonk impressing us.

We would come back as one of the nation's best rebounding team. I feel like this team was also very underrated defensively. Trent and Damonte were able to shut down some players this year and you add Kofi coming back and improving on his defensive positioning and shot blocking then that improves our interior defense and we become the big ten's if not one of the nation's best defensive team as well. Depth was a little bit of a weakness but I think we improve in that area as well with our strong freshmen class, our sit out guys that are now eligible, and improved sophmore's in Hamlin and Bosmanns-Verdonk.
 
There is so much going on here...

1. Covid-19 obviously puts a huge question mark on when or if next season actually starts. I know some may think its crazy to say that the upcoming season may not be played, but I personally think its a possibility, and when it does start...with fans? Without fans? Are they still traveling state to state? Does Ayo or Kofi want to be a part of an upcoming season that may be played with a very different experiance then normal.

2. The NBA draft im sure will continue as followed since the NFL was able to do it. Will Ayo and Kofi be able to do personal workouts for teams? Will doing everything via Zoom or any other platform make either of them stand out positively or negatively? Will there be a combine? Maybe a combine helps Kofi but hurts Ayo? Or vice versa?

3. The new rules regarding the NCAA and players keeping their likeness and image. When do these rules apply? Next year? If I'm Ayo specifically, if I am "The man" on campus with some of this language now in place, its is actually more beneficial for me to stay at Illinois and soak that in.

4. What are scouts saying? I would say most of the board sees Ayo as early second rounder/maybe late first. I have not read much of anything to suggest Ayo will be drafted at all...let alone a late first rounder. And Kofi seems to not even be sniffing mock draft boards. Does Ayo want to leave to be a late second round pick and immediatly stashed in the G-League? Maybe that IS his motivation and thats completely OK. If you're Kofi maybe you have the complete opposite mindset.

5. What are either of their thoughts on plauing oversees? Either could do very well playing professionally overseas...but its not for everyone.

Ive been saying that I think Ayo leaves and Kofi stays. But both look to be bottom tier draft picks who would benefit from coming back. I do hope they heed to good advice.

We have to keep in mind that these are kids.

There is ALOT to think about for them right now.
I think there's a high likelihood that no basketball is played this winter in the US or Europe, at the professional or collegiate level. Pretending, for a moment, that that turns out to be true, what happens to a player who loses eligibility, goes undrafted, and doesn't get a paid roster spot overseas? He'll be paying his own expenses for a year while not improving his draft stock or getting the coaching, nutrition and practice of being on a team. Meanwhile the competition he'll be up against for the following year's draft will look much more attractive to pro leagues, because they know the kids have been staying in shape, watching film and working on their games (even if there's no season).

If either of these guys were a lock for the first round, I'd say it's in their best interest to go. But the risk of going undrafted and then not being in organized ball for a year seems like a death-trap for career progression. That is THE risk they have to manage. They'd be better off spending another year here, ESPECIALLY if there's no season. Stay sharp and out of debt. Hell, they could even come back a second time, play a full season and then surely go pro.

Impatience will really work against kids who have declared this year, and far worse than normal.
 
Michigan
If you don't see a player every day all your data ain't worth squat. Ayo is first round material now. If, as you agree, he's one of our best ever, why do most not have him being drafted in either round, data? Rajon Rondo couldn't shoot yet he led the Celtics to a title in 2008 with a very similar game. I hope he comes back. If not, I hope the Celtics take him. I've been watching basketball for 60 years and Ayo can get it done at the next level now. Winner.
I'm not sure whether we're arguing about his draft position, the BIG being unknown to outsiders, or that GMs are more data driven in the modern NBA.

For the record, my answers are:
Late 2nd round (for reference, Dee was taken mid-2nd round)
Very well known to NBA scouts
Yes, data and moneyball are thriving in the NBA.

I think I've already discussed the whys, but if you want to debate a specific thing, feel free. I'm not trying to insult your 60 years of fandom, or opinions on Ayo's ability --they're just as valid as anyones. I just found that one statement a bit over the top.
 
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Garza being in the unanimous "GO BACK TO SCHOOL!" section brings me untold amounts of petty joy.
Personally, I'd rather avoid seeing Garza in an opposing lineup next year. As a finalist for POY....hard to imagine him on the outside looking in. The execs obviously have a checklist that Ayo, Garza and others don't seem to check.🤔
 
CrazedUIFan
Personally, I'd rather avoid seeing Garza in an opposing lineup next year. As a finalist for POY....hard to imagine him on the outside looking in. The execs obviously have a checklist that Ayo, Garza and others don't seem to check.🤔
As much as I despise Iowa, I would love to see Kofi up against Garza next year. He’s a great litmus test for Kofi on both ends of the court.
And to state the obvious, both Ayo and Kofi have been dramatically impacted by the restrictions from Covid-19. They needed to be seen in the tourney and in combines. Not having that exposure really hinders them, but hopefully benefits us!
 
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