LSU has also been mentioned as a possible suitor.
Now that Kofi Cockburn has withdrawn from the NBA Draft, it sounds like a decision on where he’ll play this fall will happen fairly quickly.
In an interview with ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, Cockburn said he wants to have a decision made soon and could start taking visits to other schools, though none have been scheduled as of Tuesday afternoon.
In terms of interest in Kentucky, Cockburn called the school a “serious option” and cited Orlando Antigua as a major reason the All-American is transferring.
“He’s the reason I went to Illinois,” Cockburn said of Antigua. “When he left along with Chin Coleman, I decided to go in the portal to leave my options open.
“Kentucky? It’s a serious option. Antigua is my guy. I’m going to consider them, but there a lot of schools. I wasn’t really focused on that while I was in the NBA Draft. Now I can take my time and evaluate it better.”
While Cockburn has yet to officially leave Illinois, ESPN has already tabbed him No. 1 in their transfer rankings for the 2021-22 college basketball season. Kentucky already has ninth-ranked transfer Oscar Tshiebwe, and the addition of Cockburn could make this one of the best frontcourts in America.
Other recent buzz for Cockburn has surrounded LSU, but this does appear to be a fight between Illinois and Kentucky. The Illini staff has put on the full court press to try to bring Cockburn back to Champaign, but he hasn’t yet tipped his hand.
Kentucky is also in the running for No. 1 overall high school recruit Jalen Duren, but it looks like John Calipari is ready to take whoever commits first, and Duren is not expected to decide until after the Peach Jam in a few weeks.
Based on what Cockburn is saying, his decision should be made by then.