Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation,” your each day dose of school basketball information from Illini beat author and AP Prime 25 voter Scott Richey. He’ll provide up insights each morning on Brad Underwood’s group:
By the only statistical measures, Kofi Cockburn’s 2020-21 season is off to a reasonably spectacular begin. Illinois’ sophomore heart had a double-double in every of his first three video games:
- 18 factors and 10 rebounds towards North Carolina A&T
- 14 factors and 11 rebounds towards Chicago State
- 13 factors and 14 rebounds towards Ohio
Cockburn set an Illinois freshman file with 12 double-doubles in 2019-20 — a full half dozen greater than Efrem Winters’ six in 1983 — and the 7-foot, 285-pound large man is clearly on tempo to crush his personal profession excessive.
In case you have been questioning, Skip Thoren has the single-season file with 20 double-doubles, which he achieved in consecutive seasons in 1964 and 1965. No shock, then, that Thoren additionally has the profession file with 41 simply forward of Nick Weatherspoon’s 40 and Dave Downey’s 39.
Anyway, again to Cockburn. He was regular this week with loads of positives past his double-double manufacturing. Cockburn’s free throw fee was up from a yr in the past, and so have been each his offensive and defensive rebounding percentages.
However this is the alarming early statistic. At an identical utilization fee as final season, Cockburn’s turnover fee jumped from 14 % to 22.7 %, and that was towards North Carolina A&T, Chicago State and Ohio.
The grand whole was 10 turnovers in three video games. Not very best. Loads of these got here from Cockburn exhibiting lower than certain handedness on entry passes (nonetheless form of a factor) and having the ball knocked away from him when he put it on the bottom (at instances unnecessarily).
“He’s been OK,” Illinois coach Brad Underwood stated. “He hasn’t been nice. I’m actually disenchanted in his turnovers. He’s a man that, first possession of the sport (towards Ohio), simply will get out-run. That’s the realm we’ve acquired to see progress. He will be such a dominant drive, as we noticed there in that stretch within the second half. Our guys did a very good job of lastly executing and getting him the ball. We didn’t try this early. We’ve acquired to do a greater job of getting him engaged, however we’ve acquired to wash up his turnovers.”