I hope everybody is in good health and is well during these times of uncertainty. The posts on the website have stopped at least from me because of the fact that there are no sports on, and all of our worlds are different. Just remember, we are living through history everyday and learning more and more about this virus that has caused us so many headaches, and heartbreaks. We have a few things to talk about(in separate posts) and they all involve basketball. Let’s start with the Illini, and how that landscape has changed so much during the last month.
As we all know the pandemic has taken a lot away from everybody including sports lovers, starting with the NCAA tournament, the cancelation of the Big Ten Tournament, the Masters, the delaying of the MLB season, and more. The pandemic took away a chance for Sophomore guard Ayo Dosunmu to raise his soaring draft stock, even more, this past March. With the NBA not being able to have any in-person meetings or workouts due to the social distancing guidelines, Ayo is going to take start the next chapter in his life by entering the NBA draft, he announced on his Instagram page this evening. Ayo in 62 games in the Orange and Blue averaged 15.2 PPG, 4.2 TRB, and 3.3 AST. To go along with his career numbers, he’s hit multiple game-winners and has that “clutch” gene that a rare few have while earning a few accolades along the way such as being on the All-Big Ten team this past season, and the All-Freshman Big Ten team the year prior.
Dosunmu has helped Head Coach Brad Underwood and staff rebuild this program from the ground up, by winning games, helping the Illini get back into national rankings, placing second in the Big Ten, all which help get high tier players on campus in the future.
To go along with Dosunmu heading to the draft Freshman big man, and Freshman of the Year winner Kofi Cockburn is heading with him. Add that along with Alan Griffin heading to Syracuse(closer to home) after a huge season for the Illini, Tevian Jones transferring, Kipper Nichols, and Andres Feliz graduating; its a huge hit to the Fighting Illini.