Kofi Cockburn to return to Illinois in 2021-22

After testing the NBA draft pool and entering the NCAA transfer portal, Illinois center Kofi Cockburn announced Friday he will return to the Fighting Illini for the 2021-22 basketball season.

Cockburn entered the portal July 1 and withdrew from the draft July 6. In a social media post earlier this week, he listed Illinois, Kentucky and Florida State as his final three options.

CBS Sports ranked Cockburn the No. 1 player available in the portal. Cockburn averaged 17.7 points and 9.5 rebounds last season as the Fighting Illini earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament before being upset by Loyola Chicago in the second round.

Cockburn was a second-team All-American and first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2020-21.

Illinois already lost guard Ayo Dosunmu to the NBA draft and standout freshman Adam Miller, who transferred to LSU. Three assistant coaches also departed the program this offseason.