Cockburn happy to draw defenders, open game up for teammates

Local Sports

CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Brad Underwood had time to stop by the Toys for Tots Drive Thursday, but he and the Illini are hard at work preparing for the biggest non-conference game this season against Arizona.

So far for the Illini, All-American Kofi Cockburn has had to adapt to different roles based on what defenses are throwing at the Illini. Two games in a row Cockburn has acted more as a screen than a top scorer, only getting 13 and 17 points against Rutgers and Iowa, respectively. Teams trying to Kofi out of the game has allowed shooters like Alfonso Plummer and Jacob Grandison to thrive. And Cockburn’s more than happy to open things up for others.

“I feel like I’m way more confident right now, and I’m way more mature in that fact that I understand I don’t need to score 30 points or 20 points a game,” says Cockburn. “I understand that if my team wins, I’m going to be successful, I’m going to be good. I’m happy with the fact that we win regardless of the outcome for me. Now it’s like if I miss a couple shots, I’m not taking a lot of shots, you play the game the right way. You rebound, you keep your head straight, you see it through.”

Game is on Saturday at 4 p.m. Tune to the WCIA social channels for the Your Illini Nation Pregame Show to get you set for the game.

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