CHICAGO – There were a few hints during the last few weeks of their season that the college career of one of the best guards in Illinois basketball history would come to an end whenever the season did.
Brad Underwood talked about Ayo Dosunmu taking the next step a few times late in the campaign. After the Illini’s loss to Loyola in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the guard was asked what it was like to take off his jersey for the last time at the school.
He didn’t really try to deny it.
“I try to take the good with the bad. I definitely thought about how poorly I played today, but I try to think about all the work I put in, all the hours I put into the gym, all the last three years,” said Dosunmu that day. “The difference we made — the difference I made as a player and the difference the whole program made. I try to just, you know, remember the good times.”
So a day after the end of the 2020-2021 men’s basketball season, Dosunmu wasted little time announcing the next step of his basketball career.
On ESPN’s “The Jump,” Dosunmu announced that he will officially forgo his senior season and will put his name in for the NBA Draft. Unlike 2020, where he also declared, the guard said he will hire an agent, officially ending his college career.
“My coaches; they helped me each and every day; long nights in the gym. And I just think I see the game better,” said Dosunmu on “The Jump.” “I see the game much differently, being a junior, being 21 years old. And putting so much work into my film. That’s what makes me believe I’m ready for the NBA.”
Dosunmu’s performance during the 2020-2021 season proved that as he established himself as one of the best players in college basketball. He averaged 20.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.3 points per game in his third year in Champaign, helping Illinois to a Big Ten Tournament championship & a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Individually, Dosunmu was named the Illini’s first-ever first team AP All-American while also winning the Bob Cousy Award for the nation’s best point guard.