CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois jumped up two spots to #19 in the Associated Press rankings this week. It’s their highest ranking since January 2013.
The Illini won twice on the road last week, at Purdue and at Michigan, their second and third roads win in conference this year. Overall, they are on a six game conference winning streak. That’s their longest since they won 25 in a row from the 2004 to the 2005 seasons. At 7-2, it’s their best Big Ten start since they started 15-0 in 2005.
Kofi Cockburn was once again named Big Ten Freshman of the Week this week, his 7th honoring in 12 weeks this season. He averaged 13.5 points and 9 rebounds in the two wins.
Amidst the winning streak, Brad Underwood is quick to spread the praise across the program.
“I’ve been remarkably blessed to have a great, great staff and very good players. That was started, obviously, at Stephen F. Austin and Oklahoma State and now here. It’s definitely, head coaches get too much blame and too many accolades sometimes but we’re a family. We use that word a lot, and it’s definitely the Illini basketball family is a big part of all those,” he said.
Illinois hosts Minnesota on Thursday night.