The first game of the FIBA U18 Americas Championship kicked off for the United States on Sunday. Usually we wouldn’t pay it any mind, but when a homestate kid and future Illini is repping the red, white and blue, a couple of our guys decided to tune in.
Tournament stats so far: 16 minutes per game, 9.3 points per game (66.6 percent shooting), 4-4 FT, 2.8 A/TO, 2 rebounds per game, 0.3 steals per game
- Impressive defensively. Always picked up ballhandler from full court. Forced five-second call. Started possessions immediately with the 24-second shot clock. Could mesh well with Da’Monte Williams defensively.
- Incredibly smooth on offense. Knows when to pick his spots. Doesn’t force anything, but Illini will be lacking talent so he may need to start forcing things when he gets to Champaign.
- Elite finisher/layup maker. Has incredible touch and knows exactly how to use his body/what angles he needs to use going up against bigger guys.
- Great command. The game is going 100 mph for some guys, but for him it’s going in slow motion. Nothing is ever rushed. He’s two steps ahead of nearly everyone else on the court which makes things look incredibly easy. Jumps in the game and is directing people on both ends. Knows not only where he’s supposed to be, but directs others as well.
- Very exciting on-ball defender. Bothers smaller point guards with his length. Keeps opposing offenses from getting into rhythm with 24-second shot clock. Will take primary ball handler in college, take some pressure off Trent Frazier defensively.
- Patient on the opposite end of the floor. Even with a shortened shot clock he makes things develop. Doesn’t settle for “OK” looks. Finds the best option, even if it means making an extra pass.
- Unselfish and great court vision. He made multiple highlight-reel passes in just three games of group play. Ayo sees the floor well. If he can be more vocal, then he would in all aspects fit the term “floor general.”
- Attacks the rim hard. Whether it was coast-to-coast, or catching the defensive sleeping in transition, Ayo goes to the basket aggressively. He doesn’t have a big body nor is he gifted with the ability to play above the rim, but finishes strong under contact.
- Improved jumper. If you look at film from high school compared to today it’s 10 times better. He cited working with his dad, doing two-a-days this offseason, and you can see the improvement.
Dosunmu has the tools to be an elite player at the college level and to take his game professionally. He’s putting up solid numbers for the U.S. team in limited minutes so far.
Playoff action will start for national teams on Thursday, with America drawing Ecuador for its first matchup. The true test will be Saturday.
Barring any upsets, the United States will take on Canada for the gold medal game.