One of the most talented forwards may be leaving his program this offseason. According to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello, Illinois rising junior Kofi Cockburn will enter the transfer portal.
Cockburn entered his name into the NBA draft back in April and has until July 7 to withdraw from the draft. Sources say he still may return to Illinois, but wants to explore all his options before deciding.
If Cockburn decides to play for another program, he would instantly boost any team’s frontcourt. The 7-footer averaged 17.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game last season with the Illini. He shot consistently at 65.4 percent from the field and had 16 double-doubles. One of the most dominant big men in all of college basketball, Cockburn ranks first nationally in dunks, fourth in field goal percentage and third in double-doubles. was Big Ten Freshman of the Year 2019-20, 1st Team All-Big Ten last season, and 2nd Team All-American last season.
Due to Cockburn’s dominant performances and the help of his teammates, Illinois finished 24-7 overall, including a Big Ten Tournament title and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Illinois’ tournament run ended with a round of 32 loss to Loyola-Chicago.
Cockburn received an invite to the NBA G-League Elite Camp and had an impressive performance. NBA draft analyst for ESPN Jonathan Givony tweeted, “Solid showing from Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn. Strong, physical, competitive rolling to the rim out of PNR and crashing the offensive glass. Non-stop talking, smiling, energy.”
Cockburn did not receive an invite to last week’s NBA Draft Combine. He is currently ranked No. 96 in ESPN’s NBA draft rankings.