Cockburn wins Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Dosunmu named to First-Team

Local Sports

(WCIA) — Kofi Cockburn was named the 2020 Big Ten Freshman of the Year by both the media and coaches, while also earning a unanimous selection to the coaches’ All-Freshman Team. Ayo Dosunmu was named First-Team All-Big Ten by the media, while named Second-Team All-Big Ten by the coaches. Dosunmu and Cockburn helped lead the Illini to a 21-10 regular season record and fourth-place finish in the Big Ten.

Cockburn is the fourth Illini to win the Freshman of the Year award, and the first since 2010. The freshman center was also named a Third-Team All-Big Ten pick by the media while earning honorable mentions from the coaches. In the regular season finale, Cockburn earned a game-winning block against Luka Garza who was named the 2020 Big Ten Player of the year.

“It’s been a pleasure playing against him, and just watching him and learning from him, he’s an incredible player, he has my respect, and it was just about matching his energy,” says Cockburn. “That last play was just intuition and you know what’s going to happen in that situation, so I just try my best to prevent it.”

Dosunmu is the first Illini since 2010 to be named a first-team selection. With the sophomore guard likely decalring for the 2020 NBA draft, he’s averaged 19 points over the last 6 games to end the regular season. This year, Dosunmu has earned 26 double-figure games, with eight 20+ point performances.

“Find anybody that’s better. Find anyone who’s made more game winners, impacted a team, impacted a program,” says Illinois head coach Brad Underwood. “We were a shell of ourselves when we played without him [due to injury]. He’s been absolutely as good on both ends of the court as any guard in this league.”

Senior guard Andres Feliz also picked up an honor as a Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honoree. The Illini head to the Big Ten Tournament next, playing as the No. 4 seed on Friday.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.