ROSEMONT, Ill.. – Illinois junior center Kofi Cockburn has been named the 2021-22 Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year as chosen by a select media panel, the conference office announced Wednesday. A first-team All-Big Ten honoree in 2020-21, Cockburn was the only player in the country last season to average at least 15 points and nine rebounds while shooting at least 60 percent.
The media also selected an 11-member Preseason All-Big Ten Team, with eight conference programs represented.
Cockburn, along with Indiana junior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, Michigan sophomore center Hunter Dickinson, Ohio State junior forward E.J. Liddell and Purdue sophomore guard Jaden Ivey, were unanimous selections to the Preseason All-Big Ten Team. Illinois sophomore guard Andre Curbelo, Iowa sophomore forward Keegan Murray, Maryland senior guard Eric Ayala, Michigan freshman guard/forward Caleb Houstan, Purdue senior forward Trevion Williams and Rutgers senior guard/forward Ron Harper Jr. also earned preseason accolades.
Cockburn, Jackson-Davis, Dickinson, Liddell and Williams earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2020-21, while Harper Jr. was a third-team selection and Ayala was named honorable mention. Curbelo was tabbed the Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year in 2020-21 and Dickinson claimed Freshman of the Year honors. Curbelo and Dickinson were joined on last year’s Big Ten All-Freshman Team by Murray and Ivey.
The 2021-22 Preseason All-Big Ten Team is as follows:
2021-22 PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM*
KOFI COCKBURN, JR., C, ILLINOIS
Andre Curbelo, So., G, Illinois
TRAYCE JACKSON-DAVIS, JR., F, INDIANA
Keegan Murray, So., F, Iowa
Eric Ayala, Sr., G, Maryland
HUNTER DICKINSON, SO., C, MICHIGAN
Caleb Houstan, Fr., G/F, Michigan
E.J. LIDDELL, JR., F, OHIO STATE
JADEN IVEY, SO., G, PURDUE
Trevion Williams, Sr., F, Purdue
Ron Harper Jr., Sr., G/F, Rutgers
2021-22 BIG TEN PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Kofi Cockburn, Jr., C, Illinois
Unanimous selections listed in ALL CAPS
* Additional honoree due to tie