Illinois Basketball: Kofi Cockburn is a preseason AP first-team All-American

The preseason AP first-team All-American list has been released, and you will find a familiar Illinois basketball name in the starting five.

Coming into the 2021-22 campaign, everyone is expecting the Illini to have a good team. The main reason the Orange and Blue are eyed by many across the nation? The return of big man, Kofi Cockburn.

On Monday afternoon, Kofi earned more accolades entering the upcoming season. The AP released their preseason first-team All-American list, and Kofi made the prestigious group of athletes.

This is a big list for Illinois basketball legend Kofi Cockburn to make.

Kofi continues to rack up great honors throughout his career. He now has the attention of the nation on him as he tries to lead Illinois to their first national title.

Joining Kofi on the preseason first-team All-American list is fellow Big Ten standout, Trayce Jackson-Davis. The Indiana standout is one of the top NBA prospects entering the season, and he should perform well for the Hoosiers.

The final three players to go along with Kofi and Jackson-Davis include Collin Gillespie from Villanova, Johnny Juzang from UCLA, and Drew Timme from Gonzaga. That is one star-studded first-team All-American group.

One notable player missing from the first team is Michigan’s, Hunter Dickinson. He averaged 14.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game as a true freshman last season. Don’t worry, I am sure a tweet by Dickinson will be coming soon about how he hates the Illini and Kofi is annoying, or something like that.

But let’s focus on the real news here. Kofi is looked at as one of the best players in college basketball. It comes as no surprise he is a first-team All-American. The big man averaged 17.7 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game en route to a Big Ten Tournament title and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. I fully expect that out of him once again this season as well.