Brad Underwood had one of the best weekends in his young Illinois tenure. Within 24 hours his two best players announced they’d be returning for their Sophomore and Junior seasons. The duo is Kofi Cockburn and Ayo Dosunmu and it immediately vaults Illinois into the Big Ten Title conversation.
— Mr WhyNotMe (@AyoDos_11) August 1, 2020
IM BACK ?? pic.twitter.com/xipbXQPc7d
— Kofi Cockburn (@kxng_alpha) August 1, 2020
The return of both raises expectations to a level that we haven’t seen in Champaign for a long time. If the end of last season is any indication, the Illini should be in great position to capitalize. Before Covid ended the College Basketball season, Ayo had emerged as one of the best closers in all of College Basketball. Cockburn had also made a name as an elite level rebounder and a strong interior presence defensively.
In addition to the returnees, Underwood also brings in the 17th ranked recruiting class according to 247 Sports. Local talent Adam Miller headlines the class for the Illini as the Morgan Park star looks to step in and immediately contribute. Not to mention Andre Curbelo, another top-50 recruit. The point is, Underwood has options, he has a solid starting five and legitimate threats off the bench.
There’s a strong chance the Illini are in the preseason Top 10 when the rankings are released, Assuming College Basketball happens and there’s a NCAA Tournament, anything less than the Sweet Sixteen would be underachieving for this group.