Good Morning, Illini Nation: A Pair Of All Americans?

Welcome to “Good Morning, Illini Nation,” your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He’ll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood’s team:

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Episode 169: It's time
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As October approaches, you'll start to see more and more preseason rankings and preseason All-American teams published. I've got multiple preseason ballots of my own to fill out — and soon. 

I'm part of a group of Big Ten basketball writers that will rank the league's teams 1-14 and vote on a preseason All-Big Ten team since the conference doesn't do that anymore. That's due at the end of the this week. As an AP Top 25 voter, my preseason ballot and All-American team is also due soon.

Kofi Cockburn and Andre Curbelo are likely to be involved in that preseason All-Big Ten voting. The AP only has a five-man All-American team in the preseason. Cockburn is almost a lock for those honors. Curbelo? Probably not now, but don't be surprised if by the end of the year, if he's had the season everyone expects, that he's in the mix, too.

National writer Jon Rothstein released his preseason All-American team Monday. Three teams worth, actually. Cockburn and Curbelo were both included, with the former a First Team selection and the latter on the Third Team. Here's what he had to say about both:

On Cockburn ...

"Cockburn flirted with both the NBA Draft and the transfer portal before opting to head back to Champaign for his junior season. It says here that he’ll have more than a legitimate chance of averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds in 21-22. The 7-foot, 285 pound Cockburn averaged 17.7 points and 9.5 rebounds as a sophomore."

And Curbelo ... 

"A special type of point guard, Curbelo reiterates on nearly every play why Brad Underwood consistently refers to him as an 'alpha.' He’ll now augment that label to a different level as he takes the baton from Ayo Dosunmu in Champaign. Curbelo averaged 9.1 points, 4.2 rebounds, and four assists last season as a freshman. As a sophomore, he’ll orchestrate everything for Illinois at point guard. Expect a major spike in his numbers in 21-22."

Source : https://www.news-gazette.com/sports/good-morning-illini-nation-a-pair-of-all-americans/article_e0239564-2012-11ec-a2a7-5be8bc00df65.html

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