Illinois duo, Cockburn & Dosunmu part of 15-player list for Wooden Award

Ayo Dosunmu

March 6, 2021

Fighting Illini stars Ayo Dosunmu and Kofi Cockburn are on the 2021 National Ballot for the John R. Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s, the Los Angeles Athletic Club announced Saturday on ESPN College GameDay.

Selected by the Wooden Award National Advisory Board, the National Ballot consists of 15 student-athletes who are candidates for the Wooden Award All American Team and Wooden Award Trophy as the most outstanding college basketball player in the United States.

Illinois is one of three programs with multiple players on the National Ballot, along with Gonzaga and Villanova. The Big Ten, meanwhile, leads all conferences with six selections.   

Wooden Award National Ballot
Charles Bassey, Western Kentucky
Jared Butler, Baylor
Kofi Cockburn, Illinois
Cade Cunningham, Oklahoma State
Hunter Dickinson, Michigan
Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois
Luka Garza, Iowa
Collin Gillespie, Villanova
Trayce Jackson-Davis, Indiana
Corey Kispert, Gonzaga
E.J. Liddell, Ohio State
Evan Mobley, USC
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Villanova
Jalen Suggs, Gonzaga
Drew Timme, Gonzaga

Ayo Dosunmu 2020-21 Highlights

  • Only NCAA player over the last 11 seasons to average at least 20 points, six rebounds and five assists
  • Joins Michigan State’s Magic Johnson as only two players in Big Ten history with multiple triple-doubles in league play
  • Wooden Award National Ballot (15)
  • Naismith Trophy Semifinalist (10)
  • Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year Finalist (5)
  • Averaging the most assists, points and rebounds of any Cousy Award Finalist
  • Naismith Trophy Player of the Week (2/8)
  • Four-Time Big Ten Player of the Week (12/14, 12/28, 2/1 & 2/8), the most selections of any player in the league
  • Has scored in double figures in 37 straight games, the longest active streak by a high-major conference player
  • 14th in the NCAA in scoring (21.0 ppg), the highest average by an Illini in the last 30 seasons
  • No. 3 in kenpom.com National Player of the Year standings
  • Ninth nationally in offensive rating (112.4)
  • Leads the Big Ten in assists (5.3 apg) and ranks 15th in the B1G in rebounding (6.3 rpg)
  • Seventh nationally with four 30-plus point performances

Kofi Cockburn 2020-21 Highlights

  • 18.6 ppg and 10.1 rpg in Big Ten play, one of only two high-major players averaging 15+ points and 10+ boards during conference games
  • Wooden Award National Ballot (15)
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year Finalist (5)
  • Naismith Trophy Midseason Team (30)
  • Second nationally with 15 double-doubles
  • Third in the NCAA in field goal percentage at 66.5% (171-257)
  • Leads nation with 60 dunks
  • Fifth in Big Ten in scoring (17.5 ppg)
  • Scored in double figures in 23 of 25 games, with eight outings of 20+ points
  • Leads B1G and ranks 25th in NCAA in rebounding (9.8 rpg)
  • No. 9 in kenpom.com National Player of the Year standings
  • 27 career double-doubles (fourth nationally among active players over last two years)

All balloted players have been certified by their university to meet or exceed the qualifications for the Wooden Award as set forth by Coach Wooden when the Award was established. The qualifications include: candidates must exhibit strength of character, both on and off the court; candidates must be full-time students in an accredited NCAA college or university; candidates must be making progress toward graduation and have a cumulative 2.00 grade point average since enrolling in their school; candidates must contribute to team effort; candidates must excel in both offense and defense; and candidates should be considered on their performance over the course of the entire season. 

Voting will take place March 15-22, and voters take into consideration a player’s entire season of play, as well as the opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament. The finalists for the 2021 Wooden Award presented by Wendy’s will be announced on March 26.

For up-to-date information, visit woodenaward.com and follow the Wooden Award on Facebook and @WoodenAward on Twitter and Instagram

Kofi Cockburn

COURTESY ILLINOIS ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

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