(WCIA) — They don’t give out actual awards for being named a preseason winner, and it’s a good thing because Illinois center Kofi Cockburn might have been running out of space for these honors soon.
After being named to the Preseason AP All-America Team, Cockburn was named the media’s Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year Wednesday. He and Andre Curbelo were part of the 11 player All-Big Ten team as well. The seven foot center is back for his junior season after entering the NBA Draft process over the summer. Head coach Brad Underwood hopes fans enjoy Kofi while he’s in Champaign.
“I think he truly wants to be one of the greatest to ever wear the uniform,” says Underwood. “I hope our fans appreciate that. I challenge him with that every single day. You got to put in the time, you got to work, he’s in great shape. 79 dunks, I enjoyed watching all of those. And I’d like to see that number continue to grow.”
A couple of early season games now have times for the Illini. Nov. 11 against Arkansas State will be at 8 p.m. and the Sunday after Thanksgiving with UT-Rio Grande Valley will be at 7 p.m. Both games will be on BTN+.