In case you hadn’t heard, former Illinois 7-footer, Kofi Cockburn (KOH-Burn) announces his entrance to the transfer portal. Earlier this offseason, Cockburn entered his name into the NBA Draft, he has until Wednesday to withdraw.
The star center put together an impressive resume in his two season with the Fighting Illini. An average of 15.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg, and 1.4 bpg over two seasons is impressive. The only thing missing is NCAA Tournament success, which eluded the first-seeded Illini in 2021.
With Cockburn now as a free agent, schools are swarming. Does Syracuse have a chance to land the star?
Short answer: Yes
Syracuse was one of the many teams in on Cockburn when he was enduring the recruitment process. The talented big unofficially visited SU back on August 27th, 2016 and received an offer the Orange not too long after. With Boeheim still in Syraucse, on the heels of a season in which SU made it further than Illinois did in March, Syracuse might seem like fine spot to play a final year of college ball. Not to mention, with Marek Dolezaj gone and only the injury prone Bourama Sidibe and sheepish Jesse Edwards left on the roster, there’s plenty of playing time to be had. That center spot is pretty much wide open if a guy like Cockburn wants it.
Syracuse has a decent chance to be a good team in 2021-22, with addition of Cockburn that would swiftly change to a definite. SU has been a big man away for 5-6 years now, that chapter in SU basketball history has the opportunity to close if Boeheim and the rest of this coaching staff can make this happen.
Imagine a team that has a sharpshooter like Buddy Boeheim, a talented young talent like Benny Williams, AND a veteran big that can outplay just about anyone on both sides of the floor. SU has a chance to be great.
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