On Thursday night, the Illini faithful got the guard this team has so desperately coveted.
Ayo Dosunmu, the No. 1 player in the state of Illinois in 2018 committed to the Fighting Illini and Coach Brad Underwood. The guard chose the Illini over Wake Forest, giving Underwood one of the best players in the country to build his first full recruiting class upon.
As the 2017 Daily Southtown Player of the Year and one of the front runners for Illinois Mr. Basketball, Ayo has shown the ability to do everything on the court and has shown improvement along the way. His freshman year featured a stat line most seniors would be envious of, scoring 17.6 points per game along with seven assists and three rebounds per game. From the outset, Dosunmu was a force to be reckoned with on the court.
Fast forward to last season, his junior campaign, and every facet of his offensive game has improved. In his 2016-17 season, Dosunmu tallied 22 points per game (+5 from freshman year), nine assists per game (+2), and seven rebounds per game (+4). The Morgan Park standout has shown that he can not only play the offensive side of the ball with the best of them, but the defensive side as well.
Dosunmu was not able to play for Morgan Park in the Illinois State Championship this past season due to a foot fracture that he had suffered in the semifinals. Morgan Park, however, was able to find a way to win regardless.
Morgan Park Head Coach Nick Irvin has, on more than one occasion, praised Dosunmu for not only his work ethic on the court, but also off the court, saying: "He can do it all. Score, rebound, set his teammates up. He plays great defense and he's a leader. There's nothing he can't do.”
Standing at 6-foot-4, the guard has the length and speed necessary to defend in the Big Ten. The main question that will follow Dosunmu to Champaign will be his conditioning, which will be the question for all commits that come to play in Brad Underwood’s fast-paced, high octane offense. Until then, this commitment likely opens more inroads with other top players in the country and could prove to be a turning point for Illinois Basketball.