Ayo Dosunmu is a secondary playmaking wing from Illinois. He stands 6’6″, weighing in at 210 pounds with a 6’9″ wingspan, giving him ideal NBA size and length.
Dosunmu is in his third season with the Illini, having tested the NBA waters ahead of the 2020 draft before withdrawing, citing unfinished business with his college squad.
Ayo is very unselfish with the ball, knows how to create passing lanes, always active off the ball, and knows when to find his own. His time spent with Illinois big man Kofi Cockburn has helped him learn to be an exceptional entry passer and pick-and-roll playmaker among non-lead initiators.
Every season he’s been at Illinois, Dosunmu has improved in each statistical column. Before the Feb. 20 game against Minnesota, he’s averaging 24.4 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per 40 minutes on 49/42/81 shooting splits on high volume.
*Per Game Stats as of 2/17
Playing in transition
His game starts with his open-court potency. He loves to use his athleticism to get out and run in transition and is able to leverage his strength to finish in traffic. Unlike many open-court players at early stages of their career, Dosunmu is able to apply these principles into his half-court game as well.
Dosunmu couples physical tools with solid aggression and handle in the open floor. Most college teams aren’t equipped at all to deal with a player like that. When he gets to the league, most of his on-ball opportunities will come against bench units, and he should be able to have his way in transition.
In this clip against Wisconsin, Dosunmu shows off his defensive intellect by baiting a player into a pass that he’s all over. His quickness gives him a good jump into the passing lane, and he uses a pound dribble to gather before a dunk. Pick six, touchdown Dosunmu.
Dosunmu also maintains his composure very well in transition. Here, he recognizes that the defense is in front of him blocking off any driving lanes so he finds the open shooter, albeit for a miss.
Scoring in the half-court
Part of what makes Dosunmu such a complete prospect is his ability to create his own shots in the half-court. It’s something that so many players at the collegiate level struggle with, so his experience helps a lot, being a junior. Here, we see Dosunmu in complete control of his pace and is able to draw the contact with a hesitation move. His strength helps him get the basket to go.
Dosunmu also does a very good job of using his strength to his advantage on straight-line drives. He dips his shoulder down into the defender to get leverage around the defense, and once Dosunmu has the angle, it’s over.
Playmaking in the half-court
Out of all the prospects in this draft who won’t ever be lead initiators at the next level, Dosunmu is probably the best among them at facilitating for others. On this play, Dosunmu’s scoring threat demands high attention from the defense, leaving Cockburn open in the paint. Dosunmu places the entry pass in a perfect place for Cockburn to catch in control and throw it down.
This set right here is a thing of beauty. Dosunmu gets a double screen, and when Cockburn rolls, it forces the weak-side help from the corner, leaving Trent Frazier all alone. Dosunmu can feel it and he fires the crosscourt pass and it’s all money from Frazier.
A similar set here for our final Dosunmu play, this is only a single screen from Cockburn. He eyes Adam Miller cutting under hoop across the baseline where he loses his defender and the contrasting motion leaves the passing lane wide open for Dosunmu.
Dosunmu has made a late-season push for NCAA Player of the Year, and he’s the clear leader of one of the best teams in the country. The Fighting Illini are preparing to make a potential championship run centered around Ayo. His physical tools check every box, his intangibles are off the charts. Yet the consensus around draft circles has him soundly out of the lottery, and oftentimes outside the first round.
I am the one willing to go out on a limb and stake their case, and as of Feb. 17, I have Dosunmu ranked 10th on my big board. He’ll be able to make an immediate impact on any team that plays him as one of their primary bench ballhandlers. My Phoenix Suns come to mind.
Here’s a very fun clutch highlight reel of some of the big shots Ayo’s hit throughout his 3-year college career. Cold blooded.
Ayo Dosunmu: The Closer
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) February 17, 2021
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Categories: NBA Draft