For the first time in more than five years, Illinois’ men’s basketball team is nationally ranked, as the Fighting Illini landed in the number 24 spot in this week’s Associated Press poll.
The Illini have a 12-5 record on the season, and are currently in second place in the Big Ten standings with a 4-2 conference record. They are 10-1 at home so far this season, and have won their last three games as conference play has gotten underway.
After losing in East Lansing to 14th-ranked Michigan State on Jan. 2, the Illini have reeled off home wins against Purdue and Rutgers, and also ended a 15-game losing streak against Wisconsin in Madison on Wednesday.
Sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu has been a big part of the Illini resurgence, averaging a team-high 15.5 points per game while also dishing out just under three assists and hauling down 4.3 rebounds per contest in 17 games.
Freshman big man Kofi Cockburn, who was recently named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the sixth time this season, is also having a strong season for Illinois, with 14.8 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
Illinois will be back in action on Saturday when they welcome the Northwestern Wildcats to the State Farm Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m., and the game can be seen on big Ten Network.