Kofi Cockburn will announce school choice Friday; Illinois in mix

Center Kofi Cockburn will announce Friday where he will play the 2021-22 college basketball season.

He posted a note to Twitter Wednesday that teased a Friday announcement and included a photo illustration with three logos: Illinois, Kentucky and Florida State. He entered the transfer portal on July 1 and later decided to withdraw from the NBA draft.

Still, multiple reports Wednesday pointed toward a return to the Illini for Cockburn, a junior.

The Lexington Herald Leader said Cockburn never really expressed much interest in Kentucky, despite having ties with two new assistant coaches on coach John Calipari’s staff. And other college basketball insiders expect him to return to Illinois, where he was a second team All-America and first-team All-Big Ten selection in 2020-21.

Cockburn averaged 17.7 points and 9.5 rebounds for the Fighting Illini last season, but big changes are afoot in Champaign.

Fellow All-Big Ten guard Ayo Donsumu left for the NBA, the team lost three assistant coaches and standout freshman Adam Miller transferred to LSU.

Illinois finished last season with a 24-7 (16-4 Big Ten) record and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. No. 8 seed Loyola Chicago upset Illinois 71-58 in the second round.