CHICAGO (WCIA) — The Illinois basketball team is less than two weeks away from leaving for its foreign trip to Italy. The Illini will get a chance to play multiple games abroad, giving the three newcomers a chance to mesh with the eight returners. That means sophomore forward Giorgi Bezhanishvili and freshman center Kofi Cockburn will have time together on the court.
“I think it will be great,” Bezhanishvili said. “It will be kind of test because it will be the first time we will do it. I think we will play multiple games there, but me and Kofi we already in practice. We mash, we get along and I think Italy trip will be great as well for us to build that connection on the court.”
Cockburn is the highest rated big man Illinois has signed in years. The 7-foot, 300 pound center from Jamaica is projected to provide an immediate presence in the paint for the Illini. Bezhanishvili is coming off a standout freshman season, where he averaged 12.5 points per game. The team gets 10 practices leading up to the trip, they are scheduled to be in Europe from Aug. 4-14.