CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Less than a week from the start of the Illinois basketball season, Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn are already catching plenty of buzz.
Dosunmu and Cockburn were named to the Naismith Trophy Watchlist Thursday. The award is given to the Player of the Year, which was won last year by Dayton’s Obi Toppin.
50 players from around the country get named to the preseason watchlist every season. Illinois is one of only nine teams with multiple players on the list, the only team in the Big Ten to do so.
“The beginning of the season is filled with excitement, optimism and anticipation as each team and every player is undefeated, making the race for the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Trophy wide open. While these 50 candidates are those to keep an eye on, there will be plenty of others who will enter the competition throughout the season,” said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club in a statement. “This year will be especially exciting as players who were unable to finish their seasons last year have even more to prove.”