Illinois Basketball: 3 options for the Illini after missing on Enoch Boakye

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Illinois basketball

Mar 19, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini center Kofi Cockburn (21) reacts after a dunk against the Drexel Dragons during the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois basketball needed a big man for the future, but they lost out on a solid target in Enoch Boakye.

Having the 6-foot-10 big man come to Champaign would have been amazing for the program, but one thing led to another, and he ended up with Arizona State.

In need of a solid No. 5, where does Illinois go from here? What are the options for Brad Underwood and the Illini?

Here are three options for the Illini after missing on Enoch Boakye.

1. Kofi Cockburn returns

There were points in the season where I thought Kofi Cockburn was going to the NBA once his sophomore campaign was complete. Honestly, I still believe he would benefit from a few years in the G-League rather than sticking around the college game, but there is a solid chance we have Kofi for one more year.

Kofi will declare for the NBA Draft in the coming days, though. Most players should so they can get some type of evaluation, but they shouldn’t sign an agent. This enables the player to return to their college program. Expect Kofi to at least declare for the NBA Draft in the next couple of weeks.

But, as I said, there is a chance Kofi returns to Illinois. While his numbers with the Illini were great – 17.7 points, 9.5 rebound and 1.3 blocks per game – Kofi just hasn’t picked up steam at the next level yet. If there were 10 rounds in the NBA Draft, I would peg him as a mid-third-round pick right now.

Kofi’s shot needs to improve, both from the free throw line and from outside of seven feet. This kid has a huge upside, but there is still a lot of development left with his shot. Him sticking around for one more year wouldn’t shock me at this point.

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