Cockburn foul trouble a focus heading into Michigan game


CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Kofi Cockburn will get another challenge Wednesday night when Jon Teske and No. 5 Michigan visits State Farm Center. The Illini big man was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the third time on Monday, in part due to his play at No. 3 Maryland over the weekend. Cockburn scored nine points and hauled in eight rebounds, going up against future NBA draft pick Jalen Smith. But foul trouble limited the Jamaican native in the second half, he only played six minutes and did not see the floor the final 3:48.

“It’s the first time it’s happened where he had to sit a lengthy period because of foul trouble,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said. “We need Kofi on the floor and there’s no question.”

“I’m a really physical player so I just got to realize what’s legal and what’s not,” Cockburn said. “Sometimes I make a play which I think to myself is legal, which turns out not to be, so I just have to lock in and focus on film, do what my coaches tell me, and go out and be better.”

Cockburn is averaging 15.4 points and 10.7 rebounds per game this season in his first nine games. Teske is putting up 14.1 points and 9.2 rebounds for the Wolverines.

Illinois and No. 5 Michigan tip off Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.