Kofi Cockburn enters NBA Draft

#151      
I’m not sure there is a scenario where you necessarily get better by losing your dominant force of a 2x all American while replacing him with a redshirt freshman. But hey, the offense will certainly be different next year so will be exciting to see how it evolves.
Next year's team will hit some speed bumps early on. It will be a better team in Dec.than Nov. Better in Jan. than in Dec. And so on.
 
#152      
I’m not sure there is a scenario where you necessarily get better by losing your dominant force of a 2x all American while replacing him with a redshirt freshman. But hey, the offense will certainly be different next year so will be exciting to see how it evolves.
I mean, I thought Iowa was actually a tougher out this year than last after losing Garza (plus Weiskamp) to the NBA with the Murray twins making a huge leap. I agree, I'm interested to see how much more up-tempo we will be (by necessity if nothing else).
 
#153      

Tacomallini

Washington State
Thank you Kofi!

May you always land on your feet
while causing your opponent to
always lands on his...

View attachment 17474
Gun to head, pick a favorite Illini moment from the BU era, and this is it for me. @MI when Ayo had a broken face comes darn close though. Plenty of other moments too, cause IL is good again!
My goodness, what a rematch this would've been in the BTT had the 'VID not taken the fun outta life...
Thank you, my King.
 
#154      
Best of luck to Kofi. What a great young man and great representative of the university.

Now as far as next years team, hold on to your hats, looks like a bumpy road ahead.
 
#155      
A little unsure as to how this is working this year, Transfer Portal entry date is May 1 correct? So if kids have initially entered their name in the NBA draft, they still must be in the portal by May 1, even though the NBA draft withdrawal date is June 1 to maintain college eligibility?

So in theory it will force the players (like Kofi last year) to make the transfer portal entry decision before they have decided their amateur/professional status? Am I understanding that correctly?

If that is the case, that seems less than ideal for the players.
I'd never heard the May 1st rule, but it appears to be correct

 
#156      
Gun to head, pick a favorite Illini moment from the BU era, and this is it for me. @MI when Ayo had a broken face comes darn close though. Plenty of other moments too, cause IL is good again!
My goodness, what a rematch this would've been in the BTT had the 'VID not taken the fun outta life...
Thank you, my King.

Ditto on the @MI finish by Ayo. Was at that game at mid-court :)

Kofi has been such a pleasure to watch, and having a dominant center for 3 years in this era is more than any team deserves. We'll be talking about him as one of the legends for decades to come. Will be good to see his jersey up in the rafters. Some of the things I'll remember most:

Insane physical power to go with his 7 foot height. Transformed himself since arriving.
Played defense with his feet --how many bigs have we seen foul out because they didn't have the discipline to trust their feet, or lacking power to hold position?
His touch around the basket. Great hands.
Fantastic attitude, coachable, a joy to watch play.
Scrappy rebounder. Lotta times he'd fight through 3 or 4 tries at a loose ball to get it.

Thanks for the memories! Good luck at the next level
 
#157      
I’m not sure there is a scenario where you necessarily get better by losing your dominant force of a 2x all American while replacing him with a redshirt freshman. But hey, the offense will certainly be different next year so will be exciting to see how it evolves.
Maybe it’s just the eternal optimist in me, but our style of play is likely changing drastically for next year, and I’m excited to see Dainja go to work. I think this is a win/win, but will certainly miss the force Kofi has been since day 1. Hardly feels like he has been in Illinois for three years! Too fast!
 
#158      
Next year's team will hit some speed bumps early on. It will be a better team in Dec.than Nov. Better in Jan. than in Dec. And so on.
See also: message board projections every year (beginning of internet - oblivion).
 
#159      
I'm truly going to miss Kofi. Love the guy and it was wonderful seeing his game grow and mature. I feel lucky to have gotten to watch him for three years wearing the orange and blue. Last year I thought there was maybe a 10% chance at best we'd see him not go pro, and when he entered the portal I was sure it was over, so to get an extra year with him was special. I don't think we'll see even 75% as dominant a center play for the Illini in my lifetime, if ever. Kid was amazing and I will surely miss him. I look forward to him returning to Assembly Hall for his B10 Championship ring and banner raising and wish him the absolute best of luck getting to the NBA. He has a long pro basketball career ahead of him, and I'm hoping some NBA team gives him a chance to play and he makes it impossible for them to take him off the court, similar to Ayo. But if not, he will make plenty of money overseas and be a fan favorite.

As for next year... We have some major gaps that will need to be filled, and it's going to take some time for all the new players to gel and play effectively. We will no longer have that unstoppable interior presence or the veteran leadership and defense of Trent, so I expect us to have some learning moments early in the season losing a few games that we wouldn't be expected to. I'm hoping we'll come together and be a much improved team in the 2nd half of the season, but we'll see how the players' personalities fit with each other. Obviously roster isn't set yet so still pieces to add, but as it stands now, while on paper we should have a tourney team, I think next year we're probably going to be a bubble team with chances to play ourselves in late. Maybe that's a little pessimistic, but considering all the new players, I think that's all we should expect from a team as young as we'll have. That said, if we show real improvement and start coming together by end of season, I think the following year we will have a chance of making the deep run we haven't seen since 2005. And who knows, maybe this team will exceed my expectations next year, but until the season starts, I'm just going to enjoy the pleasure I've had watching Ayo, Kofi, and Trent these past 4 years.
 
#160      
Congratulations on your NBA decision, Kofi, best to you going forward! Really enjoyed your 3-year deployment at C-U, it was absolutely elite. You brought back a prominence in culture to the Fighting Illini basketball program that was non-existent for so long. You and your stellar example will never be forgotten - thank you for being an awesome leader and team player. Now, kick some butt and show the never-believers you can be drafted - hopefully to the Bulls!! ; )

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#161      
Maybe it’s just the eternal optimist in me, but our style of play is likely changing drastically for next year, and I’m excited to see Dainja go to work. I think this is a win/win, but will certainly miss the force Kofi has been since day 1. Hardly feels like he has been in Illinois for three years! Too fast!
Since I have been known as an eternal optimist (if not a spotless mind), I would concur that it's not all gloom and doom. Looking at how the roster is shaping up I see a high likelihood that we will play Baylor-style fast-paced positionless basketball. And be pretty darn good. I think that's where BU's heart has always been. Our guard rotation should be something to behold. But who the ... heck... knows in the etch-a-sketch portal world in which we currently live. Seems like you have to just shake, erase and redraw the team every year. [that reference should separate the old farts from the metaversers]. :cool:
 
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#162      
Thanx for the memories, King Kofi! At least there should be some NIL money available to attract good options. This next team might be more a BU type team than before. I'm sure he will have them clicking by the time B1G season rolls around. Should be a fun team to watch.
Does anybody REALLY know how much NIL money Kofi made? I know people say he made a lot, but I would be surprised if it wasn't closer to a 100k than it was to a million. (I.e., if the over/under was 550k, I would probably have taken the under.)
 
#164      
Thanks, Kofi! Nothing but love and thanks for your tremendous dedication and unsurpassed tanacity. You are a special player. Godspeed on your next endeavor, wherever that may lead you.
 
#165      
In 1974 I became an Illini fan and ima this time I have never seen a better center than Kofi. Part of me is very sad to see that end. Part of me knows he needs to do this now. He can’t learn more in college, it’s up to
Him to be play in the NBA. We were
So lucky Tom have him. I hate seem him leave, but i understand wish him nothing but the best
 
#167      
Great 3 yr career at IL. Just a real force down low. Reports were that he had been back home in Jamaica for several weeks before the announcement so if that was true would tell us all what his plans were. Most NBA draft projections don't have him in at all, a couple that do have him at the very bottom. Maybe he can change someone's mind in a pre draft workout so let's hope for the best for him. The top Euro Leagues are even less big man oriented than the NBA. He will make money playing BB somewhere I'm just not sure where or how much. My guess is overseas somewhere.
 
#171      
I love this article. It expresses much of what I think as well when it comes to Kofi. The one thing I also think is underrated is the fact that this guy has only been playing organized ball for a limited amount of time and he's so coachable. I know they will value these intangibles, but I think Kofi still has lots of room to evolve. He may not get far away from being a 7 footer who can throw his weight around and occupy space...but I do believe that a team could find value in someone like him as they do Adams, Kanter, and Drummond.
 
#172      

WingedWarriors

Leesburg, FL
So Gillespie, Pippin Jr, Kofi, and Kris Murray confirmed as going to Combine.

I hope Kofi can show his worth enough to be a bit of a project. Today's NBA quite fast paced.

Kris Murray is the identical twin of Keegan, so ... we'll have to see how this pans out. It's all above the neck (no elongated neck GIF's please) as the difference between these two at this time.
 
#174      

WingedWarriors

Leesburg, FL
The way the NBA is today, Kofi would find it difficult to fit in. If you are against the order of things, you have to be able to change the game. That takes the player first, the coach, and a commitment to the change in style. If Kofi can dominate in the paint, the game could change. Otherwise, forget it. I love the guy, but half court big man dominant basketball has to have a total star game changer.
 
#175      
The way the NBA is today, Kofi would find it difficult to fit in. If you are against the order of things, you have to be able to change the game. That takes the player first, the coach, and a commitment to the change in style. If Kofi can dominate in the paint, the game could change. Otherwise, forget it. I love the guy, but half court big man dominant basketball has to have a total star game changer.
It comes down to whether or not Kofi can defend decently in the PnR. Kofi actually is that good and that big on offense to change any given ballgame. He absolutely puts pressure on every defense. Even if he’s not stuffing the stat sheet, teams just have to feel him and deal with him. There is a place for a special talent like that in the NBA but if he can’t defend worth a lick, it all goes out the window at the next level IMO