The biggest player — quite possibly both literally and figuratively — in the NCAA men’s basketball transfer portal made their decision on Friday.
KING’S BACK 🦍 pic.twitter.com/NooK3q9BKp
— Kofi Cockburn (@kxng_alpha) July 16, 2021
On July 17, consensus second-team All-American big man Kofi Cockburn announced he is returning to Champaign for his third season. This is obviously a massive boost for an Illinois team that lost guards Ayo Dosunmu and Adam Miller, and big Giorgi Bezhanishvili.
Despite a trio that combined for 33.5 points per game (PPG) being on the way out, the Cockburn return immediately makes the Illini a serious title contender again.
The odds for Illinois to win the title have shortened considerably since Cockburn’s announcement.
BetMGM odds for Illinois to win the title currently stand at 14-1.
With Cockburn in tow, Illini head coach Brad Underwood will now have three of his five starters back in the lineup for the 2021-22 season.
When you factor in the return of guards Jacob Grandison — who started 16 games last season — and sixth man Andre Curbelo (9 points, 4 assists per game), it is easy to envision quite a successful season for the Illini, as the odds movement suggests.