Kofi Cockburn Named to All-Big Ten First Team

Three Illini players (Cockburn, Trent Frazier and Alfonso Plummer) named to All-Big Ten Conference teams.

By Matt Stevens - IlliniGuys Staff Writer

March 8, 2022

(Cover photo courtesy Joe Clark/IlliniGuys)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- For the second straight season, Kofi Cockburn is a first-team, all-conference selection.

The Illinois junior center was named a unanimous selection by the league as conference awards were announced on the Big Ten Network Tuesday afternoon. Cockburn, who was one of two All-Big Ten first team selections from the Illinois program (along with Ayo Dosunmu) last season, is currently the only NCAA player averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds and the first high-major conference player since 2018 to average at least 21 points and 11 rebounds. The 7-foot, 290-pound Illini big is a finalist for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Award that goes to the nation’s best center in college basketball and is the Illinois school record holder with 42 career double-doubles, which is second-most in NCAA over the last three years. Joining Cockburn on the list of finalists for the 2022 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award are Auburn’s Walker Kessler, Connecticut’s Adam Sanogo, Gonzaga’s Drew Timme and Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe.

Cockburn led the Illini (23-8, 15-5) to a co-regular season league championship with Wisconsin. Illinois will be the top seed in the upcoming 2022 Big Ten tournament and will play the winner of Indiana/Michigan on Friday morning (10:30 a.m. CST, BTN) in the quarterfinal round at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Cockburn currently ranks tied for 14th in UI history with 1,487 points and sixth all-time with 830 rebounds. He is the school record holder with 43 career double-doubles, and is on pace to become Illinois’ all-time leading scorer and rebounder among three-year players.

Cockburn was joined on the first-team All-Big Ten team by player of the year Johnny Davis of Wisconsin, Purdue wing Jaden Ivey, Ohio State forward EJ Liddell and Iowa forward Keegan Murray. After returning for his “super senior” season via the COVID-19 additional year of competition opportunity, Illinois guard Trent Frazier picked up his first career second-team all-conference selection. Frazier,  a five-year starter and arguably one of the most accomplished players to ever wear an Illini jersey, ranks fifth on the U of I all-time scoring list with 1,773 points. He has played the most minutes in Illini history and is on pace to break the school record for career starts as well. Frazier has made 307 three-pointers, ranking second all-time at Illinois. He is averaging 12.5 points this season, scoring a season-high 29 in the win at Nebraska, and hit clutch threes to close out recent wins at Michigan State and Michigan.

Frazier was also named to the league’s all-defense team for the second straight year. Frazier was joined on the six-player Big Ten second-team with Indiana forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, Michigan center Hunter Dickinson, Purdue center Zach Edey, Rutgers wing Ron Harper Jr. and Wisconsin guard Brad Davison.

Illinois senior transfer guard Alfonso Plummer led the Big Ten third-team selections with Michigan State wing Gabe Brown, Nebraska guard Bryce McGowens, Ohio State wing Malaki Branham, Purdue forward Trevion Williams, and Rutgers guard Geo Baker.

Plummer, a grad transfer from Utah, led the Big Ten in 3-point field goals, making 91 which already ranks fourth on the Illini single-season list. Plummer is averaging 15.1 points this season, and he tied the school record for threes in a game, making eight against Ohio State on Feb. 24.

The awards are voted on by conference coaches and a select media panel. The complete list of All-Conference honorees and individual award winners is below.

 

2021-22 All-Big Ten Men’s Basketball Team

As selected by Big Ten coaches

 

FIRST TEAM

KOFI COCKBURN, ILLINOIS

KEEGAN MURRAY, IOWA

E.J. Liddell, Ohio State

Jaden Ivey, Purdue

JOHNNY DAVIS, Wisconsin

 

SECOND TEAM*

Trent Frazier, Illinois

Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana

Hunter Dickinson, Michigan

Zach Edey, Purdue

Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers

Brad Davison, Wisconsin

 

THIRD TEAM*

Alfonso Plummer, Illinois

Gabe Brown, Michigan State

Bryce McGowens, Nebraska

Malaki Branham, Ohio State

Trevion Williams, Purdue

Geo Baker, Rutgers

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Jordan Bohannon, Iowa

Fatts Russell, Maryland

Malik Hall, Michigan State

Jamison Battle, Minnesota

Payton Willis, Minnesota

John Harrar, Penn State

Sasha Stefanovic, Purdue

Tyler Wahl, Wisconsin

 

ALL-FRESHMAN TEAM

Moussa Diabate, Michigan

Max Christie, Michigan State

Malaki Branham, Ohio State

Bryce McGowens, Nebraska

Chucky Hepburn, Wisconsin

 

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM

Trent Frazier, Illinois

Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana

E.J. Liddell, Ohio State

Caleb McConnell, Rutgers

Eric Hunter Jr., Purdue

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR:

Johnny Davis, Wisconsin

 

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR:

Caleb McConnell, Rutgers

 

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR:

Malaki Branham, Ohio State

 

SIXTH MAN OF THE YEAR:

Trevion Williams, Purdue

 

COACH OF THE YEAR:

Greg Gard, Wisconsin

 

Unanimous selections IN ALL CAPS

*Additional honorees due to ties

 

2021-22 All-Big Ten Men’s Basketball Team

As selected by Media Voting Panel

 

FIRST TEAM

KOFI COCKBURN, ILLINOIS

KEEGAN MURRAY, IOWA

E.J. Liddell, Ohio State

Jaden Ivey, Purdue

Johnny Davis, Wisconsin

 

SECOND TEAM

Trent Frazier, Illinois

Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana

Hunter Dickinson, Michigan

Zach Edey, Purdue

Ron Harper Jr., Rutgers

 

THIRD TEAM

Alfonso Plummer, Illinois

Bryce McGowens, Nebraska

Malaki Branham, Ohio State

Trevion Williams, Purdue

Brad Davison, Wisconsin

 

HONORABLE MENTION

Xavier Johnson, Indiana

Race Thompson, Indiana

Jordan Bohannon, Iowa

Fatts Russell, Maryland

Eric Ayala, Maryland

Eli Brooks, Michigan

Gabe Brown, Michigan State

Jamison Battle, Minnesota

Payton Willis, Minnesota

Pete Nance, Northwestern

John Harrar, Penn State

Sasha Stefanovic, Purdue

Geo Baker, Rutgers

Caleb McConnell, Rutgers

Paul Mulcahy, Rutgers

Clifford Omoruyi, Rutgers

Tyler Wahl, Wisconsin

 

PLAYER OF THE YEAR:

Johnny Davis, Wisconsin

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR:

Malaki Branham, Ohio State

COACH OF THE YEAR:

Greg Gard, Wisconsin

 

Unanimous selections IN ALL CAPS

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