Faculty basketball rankings: Illinois enters early Prime 25 And 1 after Kofi Cockburn decides to not switch


Kofi Cockburn entered each the NBA Draft and switch portal earlier this offseason, which, on the time, strongly prompt the 7-foot heart could be enjoying basketball someplace aside from Illinois subsequent season. However phrase began to flow into in current days that Cockburn would truly head again to the Large Ten faculty he helped safe a No. 1 seed within the 2021 NCAA Event. And Cockburn made it official on Friday by asserting he’ll in truth play at the least another 12 months for the Illini.

For those who listened to Friday’s episode of the Eye On Faculty Basketball Podcast, which was recorded earlier than Cockburn’s announcement, you in all probability know I mentioned I’d not transfer Illinois again into the Prime 25 And 1 even with Cockburn’s anticipated return. However after additional precisely what the Illini are returning and enrolling relative to different Prime 25 And 1 groups, I’ve reconsidered and now do suppose Illinois belongs. Sure, Ayo Dosunmu is gone — and that is a humongous loss. However Brad Underwood continues to be returning 4 of the highest six scorers from a staff that completed 16-4 within the Large Ten — and that is sufficient to maneuver Illinois as much as No. 15 in Model 20.0 of the 2021-21 CBS Sports activities Preseason Prime 25 And 1.  

Gonzaga stays No. 1.

The Zags have received at the least 31 video games in 5 consecutive seasons, performed in two of the previous 4 nationwide title video games, and completed first or second at KenPom in 4 of the previous 5 years —  and it is attainable the very best is but to come back contemplating the roster Mark Few has in place. The West Coast Convention energy ought to deliver again Andrew Nembhard and Drew Timme, the latter of whom is the seemingly preseason nationwide participant of the 12 months. They’re going to be joined by the top-ranked prospect within the Class of 2021 (Chet Holmgren) and two different consensus top-30 freshmen (Hunter Sallis, Nolan Hickman). which means this must be the most-talented roster in program historical past.  

The most recent with recruiting and main transfers are lined within the latest episode of Eye on Faculty Basketball.

Prime 25 And 1 rankings

Largest Movers








The Zags are anticipated to deliver again Drew Timme and Andrew Nembhard, each of whom began for a staff that completed 31-1. They’re going to mix with a star-studded recruiting class – highlighted by five-star prospects Chet Holmgren and Hunter Sallis – and permit Gonzaga to enter the season as the favourite to win the nationwide title. 31-1



Each participant who helped the Bruins make the Closing 4 is returning – amongst them NCAA Event star Johnny Juzang. UCLA will add five-star prospect Peyton Watson and Rutgers switch Myles Johnson to that core and have the entire items essential to compete for the nationwide title.




The Jayhawks are anticipated to return 4 of the highest 5 scorers from a staff that beat Baylor in February and completed second within the Large 12. The addition of high-level transfers Remy Martin (Arizona State) and Joseph Yesefu (Drake) ought to make Kansas the favourite to win what could be the twentieth convention championship of Invoice Self’s profession. 21-9



The return of Collin Gillispie and Jermaine Samuels means the Wildcats will return 4 of the highest 5 scorers from a staff that received the Large East title by a number of video games. So Jay Wright could have the items essential to compete for his third nationwide championship. 18-7



The return of Hunter Dickinson and Eli Brooks supplies Juwan Howard with high-level skilled items to pair with the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class that options five-star prospect Caleb Houstan, five-star prospect Moussa Diabate and reigning Solar Belt Participant of the 12 months DeVante’ Jones. The Wolverines must be the favourite to win what could be a second straight Large Ten title. 23-5



Duke is the one program anticipated so as to add three five-star prospects from the Class of 2021 – amongst them Paolo Banchero and AJ Griffin, each of whom mission as one-and-done top-10 NBA Draft picks. So even with Matthew Damage and DJ Steward each leaving faculty early, Mike Krzyzewski ought to have sufficient expertise to take the Blue Devils again to the highest of the game. 13-11



The Bears are shedding Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler to the NBA Draft. However with a returning core of Adam Flagler, Matthew Mayer and Jonathan Tchamwa Tchatchoua, and a top-10 recruiting class highlighted by five-star wing Kendall Brown and Arizona switch James Akinjo, Scott Drew has the items to make one other run at a nationwide title. 28-2



The Razorbacks are shedding quite a bit – together with projected first-round choose Moses Moody. However JD Notae is returning as a double-digit scorer, and Eric Musselman is including at the least 4 different skilled double-digit scorers by way of the switch market, most notably Chris Lykes (Miami) and Au’Diese Toney (Pitt).




The Boilermakers are returning the highest eight scorers from a staff that obtained a No. 4 seed within the NCAA Event. The star is Trevion Williams, who averaged 15.5 factors and 9.1 rebounds as a junior whereas setting himself as much as be a attainable First Crew All-American subsequent season.




So long as Kelvin Sampson stays the coach, Houston will seemingly be a mainstay within the Prime 25 And 1. The early lack of Quentin Grimes hurts, however in all probability not an excessive amount of with Marcus Sasser and Tramon Mark set to return and be joined by Texas Tech switch Kyler Edwards.




Chris Beard has used the switch portal so as to add 4 gamers – Tre Mitchell (UMass), Timmy Allen (Utah), Christian Bishop (Creighton) and Dylan Disu (Vanderbilt) – who averaged double-figures in factors final season. In consequence, he seems to have sufficient skilled expertise to compete for the Large 12 title in his first 12 months at Texas 19-8



John Calipari has solved Kentucky’s level guard issues by enrolling five-star prospect TyTy Washington and Georgia switch Sahvir Wheeler. Mix that with the return of Davion Mintz and Keion Brooks, and the additions of transfers Kellan Grady (Davidson), Oscar Tshiebwe (West Virginia) and CJ Frederick (Iowa), and the Wildcats appear to be a staff set to have the largest year-over-year turnaround within the sport. 9-16


N. Carolina

The return of Armando Bacot and Caleb Love will give Hubert Davis an opportunity to maintain the Tar Heels nationally related in his first season after changing Roy Williams. They’re going to be joined by a few confirmed transfers – particularly forwards Brady Manek (Oklahoma) and Dawson Garcia (Marquette) – who will make UNC’s frontcourt one of many sport’s greatest.




Dana Altman has been among the many greatest at reloading his roster every offseason by way of the switch market — and now he is doing it once more. The additions of Oklahoma switch De’Vion Harmon, Syracuse switch Quincy Guerrier and Rutgers switch Jacob Younger to an skilled core of Will Richardson, Eric Williams and N’Faly Dante ought to make the Geese the largest risk to UCLA within the Pac-12.




The return of Kofi Cockburn permits Illinois to return 4 of its prime six scorers from a staff that earned a No. 1 seed within the NCAA Event. So even with the huge lack of Ayo Dosunmu to the NBA Draft, Brad Underwood’s staff should not slip an excessive amount of within the Large Ten standings.

NR 24-7


Ohio St.

Duane Washington’s choice to stay within the NBA Draft (regardless of the chance that he’ll go unselected) is an apparent blow to Ohio State’s roster. However Chris Holtmann continues to be returning six of the highest eight scorers from a staff that earned a No. 2 seed within the NCAA Event, and the addition of Louisiana switch Cedric Russell will present the Buckeyes with one other confirmed shooter.

1 21-10



Alabama is shedding 4 of the highest 5 scorers from a staff that received the SEC regular-season title and SEC Event – most notably Jaden Shackelford and Herb Jones. However the enrollment of a top-10 recruiting class highlighted by five-star level guard JD Davison, four-star large Charles Bediako and transfers Nimari Burnett (Texas Tech) and Noah Gurley (Furman) ought to give Nate Oats an opportunity to compete for back-to-back convention championships. 1 26-7


Florida St.

The Seminoles must be good once more regardless of shedding 4 of their prime 5 scorers – amongst them projected lottery choose Scottie Barnes. A veteran core of Anthony Well mannered and Malik Osborne can be joined by a top-five recruiting class highlighted by former Houston standout Caleb Mills and five-star wing Matthew Cleveland. 1 18-7



John Fulkerson’s choice to return for one more season means Tennessee is bringing again 5 of the highest eight scorers from a staff that earned a No. 5 seed within the NCAA Event. That skilled core will pair properly with a recruiting class highlighted by the most effective level guards within the Class of 2021 (Kennedy Chandler) and one other newcomer who simply averaged 11.7 factors whereas taking pictures 44.2% from 3-point vary at Auburn (Justin Powell).

1 18-9



Mark Turgeon has used the switch market so as to add a high quality guard (Fatts Russell) and massive (Qudus Wahab). That ought to assist offset the losses of Aaron Wiggins and Darryl Morsell and get the Terrapins to the Large Dance for the sixth time in a span of seven NCAA Tournaments. 1 17-14



Auburn’s frontcourt of Jabari Smith and Walker Kessler may find yourself being the very best frontcourt within the SEC. That is two bigs who have been five-star prospects in highschool becoming a member of a roster returning two double-digit scorers, most notably Allen Flanigan, who averaged 14.3 factors, 5.5 rebounds and a couple of.9 assists final season.

1 13-14



Dan Hurley has rebuilt UConn to the purpose the place it must be a constant challenger to Villanova within the Large East. Even the early lack of James Bouknight, a projected first-round NBA Draft choose, should not change that – particularly with Tyler Polley set to return for a fifth season. 1 15-8


Michigan St.

Aaron Henry is following Joshua Langford and Rocket Watts out the door. However the arrival of five-star guard Max Christie and Northeastern switch Tyson Walker ought to have Tom Izzo in his twenty fourth straight NCAA Event.

1 15-13


St. Bona.

All 5 starters from a staff that received the Atlantic 10 regular-season title and Atlantic 10 Event are anticipated again – most notably Kyle Lofton, who averaged 14.4 factors and 5.5 assists as a junior. Wake Forest switch Quadry Adams will present depth.

1 16-5



Trey Murphy left faculty early for the NBA Draft, which implies Virginia is shedding its prime three scorers. However Kihei Clark will present Tony Bennett with an skilled level guard able to maintaining the Cavaliers close to the highest of the ACC, and the addition of East Carolina switch Jayden Gardner might be a giant increase.

1 18-7



Andy Enfield ought to have the Trojans again within the NCAA Event regardless of the lack of one-and-done star Evan Mobley. A top-15 recruiting class highlighted by Reese Dixon-Waters and Memphis switch Boogie Ellis will assist offset the departures and pair properly with Isaiah Mobley, who averaged 9.9 factors and seven.3 rebounds per recreation final season.

1 25-8

Roster breakdowns

1. Gonzaga

Coach: Mark Few | 2020-21 document: 31-1


Coach: Mick Cronin | 2020-21 document: 22-10

3. Kansas

Coach: Invoice Self | 2020-21 document: 21-9

4. Villanova

Coach: Jay Wright | 2020-21 document: 18-7

5. Michigan

Coach: Juwan Howard | 2020-21 document: 23-5

6. Duke

Coach: Mike Krzyzewski | 2020-21 document: 13-11

7. Baylor

Coach: Scott Drew | 2020-21 document: 28-2

8. Arkansas

Coach: Eric Musselman | 2020-21 document: 25-7

9. Purdue

Coach: Matt Painter | 2020-21 document: 18-10

10. Houston

Coach: Kelvin Sampson | 2020-21 document: 28-4

11. Texas

Coach: Chris Beard | 2020-21 document: 19-8

12. Kentucky

Coach: John Calipari | 2020-21 document: 9-16

  • Notable gamers anticipated to go away: Brandon Boston, Olivier Sarr, Terrence Clarke, Isaiah Jackson, Devin Askew, Cam’Ron Fletcher
  • Notable gamers anticipated to return: Davion Mintz, Keion Brooks, Dontaie Allen, Jacob Toppin, Lance Ware
  • Anticipated additions: TyTy Washington, Kellan Grady, Oscar Tshiebwe, Sahvir Wheeler, C.J. Frederick, Daimion Collins, Bryce Hopkins

13. North Carolina

Coach: Hubert Davis | 2020-21 document: 18-11

14. Oregon

Coach: Dana Altman | 2020-21 document: 21-7

15. Illinois

Coach: Brad Underwood   | 2020-21 document: 24-7

  • Notable gamers anticipated to go away: Ayo Dosunmu, Adam Miller, Giorgi Bezhanishvili
  • Notable gamers anticipated to return: Kofi Cockburn, Trent Frazier, Andre Curbelo, Da’Monte Williams, Jacob Grandison, Coleman Hawkins, Benjamin Bosmans-Verdonk, Austin Hutcherson
  • Anticipated additions: Omar Payne, Alfonso Plummer, Luke Goode, Ramses Melendeez, Brandin Podziemski

16. Ohio State

Coach: Chris Holtmann | 2020-21 document: 21-10

17. Alabama

Coach: Nate Oats | 2020-21 document: 26-7

  • Notable gamers anticipated to go away: Jaden Shackelford, John Petty, Herb Jones, Joshua Primo, Jordan Bruner, Alex Reese
  • Notable gamers anticipated to return: Jahvon Quinerly, Keon Ellis, Juwan Gary, James Rojas, Darius Miles, Keon Ambrose-Hylton
  • Anticipated additions: Noah Gurley, JD Davison, Charles Bediako, Jusaun Holt, Nimari Burnett, Alex Tchikou

18. Florida State

Coach: Leonard Hamilton | 2020-21 document: 18-7

19. Tennessee

Coach: Rick Barnes | 2020-21 document: 18-9

20. Maryland

Coach: Mark Turgeon | 2020-21 document: 17-14

21. Auburn

Coach: Bruce Pearl | 2020-21 document: 13-14

22. UConn

Coach: Dan Hurley | 2020-21 document: 15-8

23. Michigan State

Coach: Tom Izzo | 2020-21 document: 15-13

24. St. Bonaventure

Coach: Mark Schmidt | 2020-21 document: 16-5

25. Virginia

Coach: Tony Bennett | 2020-21 document: 18-17

26. USC

Coach: Andy Enfield | 2020-21 document: 25-8



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