Cockburn named preseason Big Ten Player of the Year

Illini's Cockburn voted  Big Ten preseason Player of the Year as teammate Curbelo makes preseason all-Big Ten team

(From University of Illinois Sports Information Office)

Champaign, ILL.– Fighting Illini junior center Kofi Cockburn has been named Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year, as voted on by a media panel covering the league and announced Wednesday by the conference office. In addition, Cockburn and sophomore point guard Andre Curbelo have both been named to the 10-player Preseason All-Big Ten Team (11 this year due to ties), with Cockburn a unanimous selection.

Cockburn is the first Illini to be voted Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year since Dee Brown in 2005 prior to his senior season.

This is the second year in a row that Illinois has two players on the Preseason All-Big Ten Team, following Cockburn and Ayo Dosunmu last season.

These are the latest accolades for the pair of Illini standouts. A national player of the year candidate, Cockburn is an AP Preseason All-America Team selection, on the watch list for the Kareem Adbul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award, a preseason first-team All-America pick by CBS Sports, Blue Ribbon Yearbook, Athlon Sports, College Hoops Today and Dick Vitale, and Big Ten Player of the Year choice by The Athletic, Blue Ribbon and Lindy's.

Curbelo is on the watch list for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Award, a first-team All-America selection by Field of 68's Jeff Goodman, the No. 3 ranked guard in the country by The Athletic's C.J. Moore, a third-team All-America pick by College Hoops Today's Jon Rothstein, and fourth-team All-America choice by ESPN's Dick Vitale.

2021-22 Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year
Kofi Cockburn, Jr., C, Illinois

2021-22 Preseason All-Big Ten Team (unanimous in CAPS)
KOFI COCKBURN, JR., C, ILLINOIS
Andre Curbelo, So., G, Illinois
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS, JR., F, INDIANA
Keegan Murray, So., F, Iowa
Eric Ayala, Sr., G, Maryland
HUNTER DICKINSON, SO., C, MICHIGAN
Caleb Houstan, Fr., G/F, Michigan
E.J. LIDDELL, JR., F, OHIO STATE
JADEN IVEY, SO., G, PURDUE
Trevion Williams, Sr., F, Purdue
Ron Harper Jr., Sr., G/F, Rutgers

 

KOFI COCKBURN | 2020-21 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

  • NCAA Consensus Second-Team All-American
  • Only player in the NCAA to average 15+ points and 9+ rebounds while shooting at least 60%
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Finalist
  • Wooden Award All-American Team
  • Second-Team All-American by Associated Press, NABC, USBWA, Sporting News, CBS Sports and USA Today
  • No. 7 in final kenpom.com National Player of the Year standings
  • Third nationally with 16 double-doubles
  • Fourth in the NCAA in field goal percentage at 65.4% (214-327)
  • Led the nation with 78 dunks
  • Fifth in Big Ten in scoring (17.7 ppg)
  • First in B1G and 24th in NCAA in rebounding (9.5 rpg)

ANDRE CURBELO | 2020-21 SEASON HIGHLIGHTS

  • Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year
  • Big Ten All-Freshman Team
  • University of Illinois Freshman of the Year
  • Fourth on team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 9.1 ppg and 4.0 rpg
  • Averaged 12.7 points and 5.6 rebounds over the final 10 games
  • Third in Big Ten in assists during league play (4.6 apg); sixth in all games (4.2 apg)
  • Big Ten Freshman of the Week (March 1)
  • Season-high 19 points on 6-8 FG and 6-7 FT with game-high six assists and five boards in win at No. 7 Ohio State (March 6)
  • Nearly a triple-double with 10 points, season-high 12 rebounds, and eight assists in Nebraska win (Feb. 25)
  • Season-high nine assists in win over Minnesota (Dec. 15)

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