Kofi Cockburn returns to Illinois

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#226      
As elated as we are about Kofi, there's still one absolutely enormous hole to fill. Replacing Ayo will have to be done on the aggregate. His knack for taking games over late, hitting key free throws, etc....will be difficult and as we sit here today, it's still a question mark. It's the difference between a preseason rank of 15 vs 2. I don't think he's wrong in questioning that.
We had our best game of the season when Ayo was out.
 
#227      
Chicago, IL
huge shout out to your husband for being at a wine tasting

Excuse Me Reaction GIF by One Chicago

It was his idea to go. Might be time to drop the antiquated notion that wine is only for women.
 
#231      
Chevy Chase, Maryland
IMO the best thing about college hoops is that you never know what you're gonna get in the box of chocolates, no matter how tasty they look when the lid comes off the box. I always think of '83 and how we weren't even on the national radar in October, and yet ended up with a share of the BT title and, if not for the historical wrong committed against Lou and boys in Rupp Arena in March, would have been in the '84 Final Four. It happens the other way 'round, too. I'm looking forward to seeing how the boys develop and jell this year. Should be fun.

And for those mocking me for my invocation of a season nearly 40 years ago in the late 20th century:

Simpsons - With It.gif
 
#232      
I think this was answered to some degree before. Made sense for him to keep his options open, and I think that is more than fine. Felt like a gut punch when I first read, but considering NIL, OA, and whatnot it made sense. He has to consider his best interest. Glad that best interest was returning to UI and I am confident it will serve him well in the short and long run.
 
#235      
South Carolina
IMO the best thing about college hoops is that you never know what you're gonna get in the box of chocolates, no matter how tasty they look when the lid comes off the box. I always think of '83 and how we weren't even on the national radar in October, and yet ended up with a share of the BT title and, if not for the historical wrong committed against Lou and boys in Rupp Arena in March, would have been in the '84 Final Four. It happens the other way 'round, too. I'm looking forward to seeing how the boys develop and jell this year. Should be fun.

And for those mocking me for my invocation of a season nearly 40 years ago in the late 20th century:

View attachment 11562
Nice 83-84 reference! (My favorite Illini team ever!)
 
#236      
We had our best game of the season when Ayo was out.
Oh, absolutely. That was what, a three game sample size? Coaches can now game plan for all 30(or whatever the schedule ends up being). We could be better, who knows? However, as of today, filling the hole of a first team All American....it's going to raise a question for any team.
 
#241      
Hate to be the downer, but any explanation for why he spent time considering coming back to college but NOT coming back to Illinois?

The coach who recruited him and he was closest with moved to another school.

FWIW, get used to dealing with these situations. I'm guessing it will be a regular thing that we (and every program) will have one or two kids thinking of transferring. And sometimes it will be your star player.
 
#242      
Chevy Chase, Maryland
“With Cockburn back in the fold, however, the Fighting Illini have an argument to be ranked inside the top 25” -ESPN

What bunch of clowns!
Pay them no mind. They have column inches and airtime to fill, and no accountability for what they write or say. We'll see where the boys are ranked on Feb. 1. and who's featured on the ESPN Men's CBB home page regularly.
 
#245      

I think Payne is starting to get a bit overrated already...

Payne was not good at Florida. Its not like you got some kid who was coming off of a great season who you expect to be a double double machine.

He averaged 3 points and 3 boards and couldnt crack the starting rotation after being a highly touted recruit, and obviously, just being a top 60 recruit doesnt guarantee you anything. I never had high hopes for him in the first place, other then being a good defensive big who could catch lobs.

Even his early tape shows no real offensive game aside from dunks, no real jump shot yet, and a questionable IQ, not to mention the whole elbow fiasco.

Im not here to just rag on the kid, but if he has a problem with the best big in the country coming back to school to take his minutes, then I don't know what to say.
 
#246      
If Plummer doesn’t start my money is on him. Hutch, Coleman, DMW, even one of the Freshmen are easy to imagine. I also think Hawk will beak out. What a f-ing day man.
The “bench spark” scenario is why I think Plummer will be first off the bench (essentially 6th starter). I’ve heard argument that Plummer didn’t come here to come off the bench. Well I think being able to play with his countryman AC on a legitimate title contender might have had something to do with why he came here — especially after playing last two years on essentially a .500 team (and less than that in conference). If it was all about being The Man, he could have stayed at Utah and been that given that Allen and Rylan Jones (their PG) transferred. Even off the bench, given how BU used Ayo, Trent and AC the last third of the season, Plummer should get at least the same amount of minutes as he got last year at Utah if not a tick or two more. And did Trent come back after essentially being a four year starter to come off bench?
 
#248      
I think Payne is starting to get a bit overrated already...

Payne was not good at Florida. Its not like you got some kid who was coming off of a great season who you expect to be a double double machine.

He averaged 3 points and 3 boards and couldnt crack the starting rotation after being a highly touted recruit, and obviously, just being a top 60 recruit doesnt guarantee you anything. I never had high hopes for him in the first place, other then being a good defensive big who could catch lobs.

Even his early tape shows no real offensive game aside from dunks, no real jump shot yet, and a questionable IQ, not to mention the whole elbow fiasco.

Im not here to just rag on the kid, but if he has a problem with the best big in the country coming back to school to take his minutes, then I don't know what to say.
You could say the same about Kofi - no real offensive game aside from dunks, no real jump shots

Payne is able to stretch the floor a lot better. I wouldn't sell the guy short so quick. He's also not a black hole like Kofi where once the ball is in his hand, if he doesn't score - it's gonna be a turnover - no assist.

He may have just needed a new scene. I wish him nothing but the best. He seems like a solid guy from interviews. The whole elbow thing doesn't define him. We're all fortunate we aren't in a career where were constantly videotaped for all to bring back our mistakes.
 
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