Illinois Basketball: 4 big questions for the Illini against Nebraska

CHAMPAIGN, IL - JANUARY 06: Alfonso Plummer #11 of the Illinois Fighting Illini drives to the basket during the game against the Maryland Terrapins at State Farm Center on January 6, 2022 in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
CHAMPAIGN, IL - JANUARY 06: Alfonso Plummer #11 of the Illinois Fighting Illini drives to the basket during the game against the Maryland Terrapins at State Farm Center on January 6, 2022 in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Jan 6, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini center Kofi Cockburn (21) wipes his face with his jersey during the second half against the Maryland Terrapins at State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 6, 2022; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini center Kofi Cockburn (21) wipes his face with his jersey during the second half against the Maryland Terrapins at State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

4. Can Illinois continue wide rebounding margin?

It has been extremely fun watching Kofi Cockburn tear it up in the rebounding department this season. The big man is averaging 12.5 rebounds per game and is coming off his second 18-rebound game for the 2021-22 campaign.

Kofi’s great rebounding ability has propelled the Illini to the top of the list nationally when it comes to rebounds. Illinois is averaging 43.9 rebounds per game this season, which is a tie for No. 1 in the country with Arizona. The Illini lost to Arizona in a nail-biter earlier this season.

Illinois has only been outrebounded in two out of the 14 games they have played this season. The Arizona game was actually one of those contests where the Wildcats pulled down 39 rebounds while Illinois only managed 36 rebounds.

Just this past game against Maryland, though, Illinois outrebounded the Terrapins 45-27. It was an incredible performance by Kofi. Coleman Hawkins also had a great rebounding day with eight rebounds in 19 minutes of action.

The Illini are going up against an average rebounding team in Nebraska on Tuesday. The Cornhuskers average 34.6 rebounds per game, which ranks No. 204 in the country. This is a great opportunity for the Illini to dominate the glass once again.

So, on Tuesday, I will be watching to see how big the rebounding margin will get. I think Illinois has an opportunity to make the rebounding margin hit double-digits. This happens often, and it should happen against Nebraska.

Next. Illini crack the AP Top 25 for the first time in 2022. dark