• By the time you read this, Kofi Cockburn will have announced what he will do next year, as he tweeted he would make an announcement Wednesday, after this column goes to press of course. He had until this weekend to declare for the NBA draft, and if he does, he cannot return to Champaign. Been reading that decision may come down to the wire as more NIL money could be on the table. He will definitely be missed if he departs, though his absence could lead to quite the athletic, positionless basketball that Coach Brad Underwood loves. Coleman Hawkins could play the 5 in a ridiculously athletic lineup, which only got better with the addition of Skyy Clark last week.

I was sad to see Brandin Podziemski enter the transfer portal, but with all the studs the Illini have coming in, minutes might have been tough to come by for Podz, admittedly.

Then on Monday, Skyy Clark’s younger brother ZZ announced his commitment, becoming the second 2024 commit. The guy has loved Illinois for the last few years thanks to Ayo Dosunmu and assistant coach Tim Anderson, though he waited to commit until after his older brother did!

(Rest of story available in E-edition. Must be a subscriber to get both the E-Edition and print versions. Call 217-438-6155 to subscribe. We now accept credit cards over the phone).