WCIA — One of the most decorated players in Illinois men’s basketball history is moving on, as Ayo Dosunmu announced on ESPN Tuesday he is declaring early for the NBA Draft and hiring an agent.
The Illini star averaged 20.1 points per game, 6.3 rebounds per game, and 5.3 assists per game on his way to being named a First-Team All-American, the Bob Cousy Award winner, and the USA Today National Player of the Year. The Junior was the first AP First-Team All-American in program history.
“Last year I went through the draft process and I got so much feedback from almost every NBA team and I just wanted to turn what they said – the constructive criticism – and I worked at it. I improved on pretty much all my offensive and defensive stats,” Dosunmu said during the interview with Rachel Nichols, Richard Jefferson and Kendrick Perkins. “My body, I gained 7-8 pounds. Shout out to Coach Fletch; we put a lot of work into the weight room. My coaches; they helped me each and every day; long nights in the gym. And I just think I see the game better. 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 declared for the draft last summer before making a surprise decision to return for his Junior season. In several mock drafts, Dosunmu is projected to be picked somewhere in the late first round. Bleacher Report and NBC Sports have him being drafted 28th overall. Illinois has not had a player drafted into the NBA since Meyers Leonard was picked by the Portland Trail Blazers 11th overall in 2012.
Ayo leaves Illinois as the 12th highest scoring player in program history with 1,504 points. That is the most for a player with only three years in the Orange and Blue.