The latest 2021 Wooden Award watch list includes 20 names vying for notice as the best college basketball player in the country, two of which play for the Illinois Fighting Illini: Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn. Illinois is one of three teams to feature more than one player on this list. The other two are Gonzaga (3) and Villanova (2).
Ayo Dosunmu averages 21.9 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 4.8 APG. He ranks fifth in the nation in scoring. Cockburn, on the other hand, averages 16.9 PPG and 10.3 RPG. Kofi is tied for first in double-doubles so far this season with fellow Wooden Award watch list members Charles Bassey of Western Kentucky, Terry Taylor of Austin Peay, and Ruot Monyyong of Arkansas-Little Rock.
When both players returned to Champaign after initially declaring for the NBA Draft this past offseason, they were expected to be two of the best players in the country. Living up to those expectations has earned them rightful places on the Wooden Award watch list. Beyond the individual recognition, their roles in a win over Iowa on Saturday propelled the Illini to number 12 in the AP Poll.