Payne and Cockburn make for a dangerous duo in Illini frontcourt


(WCIA) — The Illinois basketball team has high expectations for this season, and they haven’t shied away from saying that they think they’ll be better than the 2020-21 team. Getting All-American Kofi Cockburn back for another season certainly helps with that, along with the new additions to the Illini roster.

Brad Underwood added in Omar Payne during the offseason, the 6-foot-10 forward is a transfer from Florida. He was initially added to the team amid Cockburn’s uncertain return, but now Underwood is eager to use them both.

“I mean I think we have two different play styles, but that’s what makes us good,” says Payne. “Gives us more depth on the team, but it’s pretty good just going against each other, we could both just push each other everyday and get better.”

“He literally can guard point guards, 5-men, he’s got great great quickness, so his versatility is something that I’m really excited about,” says Underwood. “We got to find ways to get him on the court together with Kofi, and not just one at a time.”

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