Ayo Dosunmu has big decision to make about NBA

K Nunn is way more athletic than Ayo. K Nunn would finish at the rim with dunks. K Nunn is a vastly superior shooter from deep. Ball handling is probably even. K Nunn is listed as a PG but plays off the ball a lot since Jimmy Butler dominates the rock. Ayo has a great pull up and is creative finishing at the rim along with being a closer. I don’t think that gets you to the first round. As pointed out, he is not strong enough ball handling and facilitating to be a PG and not a strong enough shooter to play SG.
I think he could have a similar route to Patrick Beverly. He ends up in Europe working on his defense and 3 point shooting and ends up being a role player in the league after proving himself.
K Nunn prior to the NBA did not have near the handles as Ayo, not as high of a bball IQ, and not nearly the passer as Ayo. I am not picking on you for this specific, but I think people are overhyping Nunn was for the Illini. Was he good - yes, pretty good - all big 10 honorable mention type - elite athlete, good d, and good, but streaky shooter. Was Nunn good enough to ever be considered first team all Big 10? Does this mean Ayo will be as good of a pro as Nunn? No, it does not. However, to me, Ayo has had the best season from a player since at least McCamey and realistically, probably, Dee years. I mean Malcolm Hill is not in the NBA, but was a better player for us than Nunn.

For pro perspectives, if he maxes out, I can see a Shai Alexander-Gilgeous type with chance to be more clutch. If he does not max out, but still finds a niche, I can see a Derek Harper/Shaun Livingston type. If teams shy away due to shooting ability, a good pro in Europe...

Ayo - strengths.
-True combo guard - is not just a shooting guard that can handle the ball. He is literally a 3 point shot away from being an elite combo guard. Has hesitation handles, can score in a variety of ways including speed in open court, mid-range, floaters, etc....
-Great passer for a shooting guard and average passer for a point guard. Is not a true scorer mentality only, but can score in bunches within flow of game.
- Length at the Point Guard and average height at SG. Seems to have a long wing span.
- High IQ
- Not a great vertical athlete, but very fast/quick.
- Good handles at SG, average at PG.
- Solid D

Weaknesses
- Needs more mass
- Needs a 3 point shot
- what position is he?
 
K Nunn is way more athletic than Ayo. K Nunn would finish at the rim with dunks. K Nunn is a vastly superior shooter from deep. Ball handling is probably even. K Nunn is listed as a PG but plays off the ball a lot since Jimmy Butler dominates the rock. Ayo has a great pull up and is creative finishing at the rim along with being a closer. I don’t think that gets you to the first round. As pointed out, he is not strong enough ball handling and facilitating to be a PG and not a strong enough shooter to play SG.
I think he could have a similar route to Patrick Beverly. He ends up in Europe working on his defense and 3 point shooting and ends up being a role player in the league after proving himself.
Ayo needs to stay close to NBA like Nunn did in the G league rather than Europe. Less money but still working with the parent team. In Europe you can be out of sight out of mind.
 
Listening to Duncan Robinson on the JJ Reddick (who I still hate) podcast, and I'm reminded why I think it's still uphill for Ayo to make it in the modern NBA. I think it boils down to what his role is/would be: I think he's an alpha/scorer, but he's not good enough to be the lead dog on an NBA team. So, can he be an effective role player? 20 years ago I think NBA GM's would take the most talented player, and guys like Robinson would never sniff the NBA. But of late they have really smartened up and look for the player best suited to fill a particular role. The most prized skillset is currently shooting, which is why Robinson gets a shot and why I still contend Allen is the best NBA prospect currently on the team. Ayo is not only not an elite shooter, he is below average to bad for an NBA shooting guard. I don't think he's an elite on ball defender. He's a good, but not great playmaker. His best skills are getting to the basket and getting out in transition, but I'm not sure he stands out amongst NBA level athletes. So, I think he is mediocre to bad at the one skill most in demand. And his strengths aren't elite enough to move the needle in NBA circles.

20 years ago he probably gets drafted in the first round as a poor man's alpha, and someone is giving max contracts to Jahlil Okafor and Jabari Parker. It's a different league now, and sadly, I don't see how his game fits. Great, great college player though and so thankful he chose the Illini and for all the daggers he hit. Hope I'm wrong!
 
Looks like the NBA pre draft combine to be held in Chicago in early May is going to get cancelled or moved back. Plus NBA teams are preparing for the draft knowing that the individual workouts and interviews might not take place. Ayo needs both of these things to occur to improve his draftability. Like his Dad said everything is on hold.
 
If I am completely honest, completely objective, regarding Ayo.....he's a mid second rounder, at best, and probably a career backup in the NBA....at best.

Keep in mind, this team did not play well until they took Ayo off the ball. His ball handling left a lot to be desired. Way, way too many live ball turnovers. When TF was on the ball, turnovers sharply went down and the offense was more fluid. There's no way Ayo is an NBA PG. Nothing we've seen for two years indicates that he can play that role at the highest level.

Now, you look at the 2. Let's be honest, his shooting(per 40 minutes) was poor. He's not a great shooter, he's not a great scorer, he's not a great athlete (by NBA standards)....I'd put him in the "crafty" category. He's not going to go up and jam on anybody, but from 15 feet and has a knack for finding an open shot. He's got a very good mid-range game, but that's prehistoric in today's NBA.

At 6'5", his size is his #1 asset
His heart and confidence is #2.

....


I think he's a guy that's a really, really good college player. His size allowed him to get a game winner off vs Michigan. He shot that ball over Simpson, a small guard, and again, he didn't get great lift and a clean look. He got the shot off darn near coming down because Simpson was right in his face. Again, crafty. Can he get that shot off vs a 6'4" NBA guard with NBA athleticism?

...

Now, the other question that nobody asks is...what position can he guard? Can he stay in front of an NBA point guard? Can he not get backed down when isolated against by an NBA 2? This is not strong physical guy.
Just CRAFTY!? Whaaatt?? 🤯😤😤

can he get his shot off against 6’4 althetic players? He’s 6’5 and lightening quick! He’s athleticism is above average! He’s long...

Ayo’s not very strong... huh?

This is one of the most fearless players we’ve seen, willing his way threw the lane and getting to the bucket AT WILL, with quickness and STRENGTH!

You answer your own negative comments against Ayo and respond with his own positives!!

Ayo, AT BEST, is an NBA All-star!

There is often just so much disrespect to Ayo’s game on here, for someone who single-handidly took on the responsibility with this staff to bring Illinois back to relevance again! Just let the kid be great!!🎖🏀


Too much quarantine time for folks around here, I guess...🧐
 
These assessments on Ayo are beyond laughable! 🤣🤣🤣🤣
I'd LOVE to be wrong. Time will tell.

Hey, I hope he's the #1 pick in the draft.

I don't think you can stress enough how average this team was before they took him off the ball. That's not a ringing endorsement.

Keep in mind, GM's are projecting him vs NBA talent. If he's playing the 2, can he play with Zack Levine? If he's playing the 1, can he stay in front of Trey Young?

I look at a guy like Luka Garza. He's probably going to NPOY and he's staying in school. Elite college player, but does it translate to the NBA? No way. It's why he'll be going back to school.

This is not an indictment of Ayo's talent. It's a realization of how absolutely elite NBA players are. The holes in an NBA guards game is so microscopic. The holes in Ayo's game at the college level is wildly apparent.

Again, I hope I'm wrong and I hope the National mock draft boards are wrong as well.
 
I'd LOVE to be wrong. Time will tell.

Hey, I hope he's the #1 pick in the draft.

I don't think you can stress enough how average this team was before they took him off the ball. That's not a ringing endorsement.

Keep in mind, GM's are projecting him vs NBA talent. If he's playing the 2, can he play with Zack Levine? If he's playing the 1, can he stay in front of Trey Young?

I look at a guy like Luka Garza. He's probably going to NPOY and he's staying in school. Elite college player, but does it translate to the NBA? No way. It's why he'll be going back to school.

This is not an indictment of Ayo's talent. It's a realization of how absolutely elite NBA players are. The holes in an NBA guards game is so microscopic. The holes in Ayo's game at the college level is wildly apparent.

Again, I hope I'm wrong and I hope the National mock draft boards are wrong as well.
I think most of the board just has a problem with your use of the phrase "at best".
 
Just CRAFTY!? Whaaatt?? 🤯😤😤

can he get his shot off against 6’4 althetic players? He’s 6’5 and lightening quick! He’s athleticism is above average! He’s long...

Ayo’s not very strong... huh?

This is one of the most fearless players we’ve seen, willing his way threw the lane and getting to the bucket AT WILL, with quickness and STRENGTH!

You answer your own negative comments against Ayo and respond with his own positives!!

Ayo, AT BEST, is an NBA All-star!

There is often just so much disrespect to Ayo’s game on here, for someone who single-handidly took on the responsibility with this staff to bring Illinois back to relevance again! Just let the kid be great!!🎖🏀


Too much quarantine time for folks around here, I guess...🧐
You are matching his athleticism up vs Big Ten guards.

You're matching his size up against college size. Ayo doesn't get great lift on his shot and his shot release is low. A 6'4" guard in the NBA is explosive, the 6'6" guards are explosive and long.

When you look at his shooting, what have you seen in the last two years that makes you believe that he is going to be a respectable shooter....when the line is moved back another what...two feet?

I think that you're creating a huge gap by overrating what Ayo does well and underrating what an NBA guard is.

Another thing to keep in mind. The coaches of the Big Ten didn't put him on the 1st team. They felt Winston and Cowan were better. I'm sure fans @ MSU and @ Maryland feel the same about their guys.

We'll see.
 
Captain Trips-ville, Planet Houston
Just CRAFTY!? Whaaatt?? 🤯😤😤

can he get his shot off against 6’4 althetic players? He’s 6’5 and lightening quick! He’s athleticism is above average! He’s long...

Ayo’s not very strong... huh?

This is one of the most fearless players we’ve seen, willing his way threw the lane and getting to the bucket AT WILL, with quickness and STRENGTH!

You answer your own negative comments against Ayo and respond with his own positives!!

Ayo, AT BEST, is an NBA All-star!

There is often just so much disrespect to Ayo’s game on here, for someone who single-handidly took on the responsibility with this staff to bring Illinois back to relevance again! Just let the kid be great!!🎖🏀


Too much quarantine time for folks around here, I guess...🧐
Lay off the kool-aid for awhile.
 
I think most of the board just has a problem with your use of the phrase "at best".
Questioning his ceiling is fair and it's the point of the conversation. Ultimately, NBA GM's answer the question and those questions are going to be answered about Cowan and Winston too. Winston is a winner and is the All Time assist leader in the conference for God's sake. He stayed four years and his draft stock is questionable.

I think the NBA is going to love his height and his intangibles, but that's the extent of what they're going to mark as above average.

As a HUGE fan, I think that if drafting players out of HS was an option for NBA GM's, Miller would go before him.

Dee Brown, Dimitri McCamey, Frank Williams, Luther Head.....all favorites and all more complete players than Ayo...but none stuck. Being an NBA player puts you as one of the top 400 players, regardless of age, in the WORLD.
 
Likes: Bernie1918
Questioning his ceiling is fair and it's the point of the conversation. Ultimately, NBA GM's answer the question and those questions are going to be answered about Cowan and Winston too. Winston is a winner and is the All Time assist leader in the conference for God's sake. He stayed four years and his draft stock is questionable.

I think the NBA is going to love his height and his intangibles, but that's the extent of what they're going to mark as above average.

As a HUGE fan, I think that if drafting players out of HS was an option for NBA GM's, Miller would go before him.

Dee Brown, Dimitri McCamey, Frank Williams, Luther Head.....all favorites and all more complete players than Ayo...but none stuck. Being an NBA player puts you as one of the top 400 players, regardless of age, in the WORLD.
The difference being that Ayo is a 6'5" guard, one of the things an NBA coach can't teach. Also like to add Luther Head was on his way to a very good NBA career before having it derailed by injury.
 
North Bethesda, Maryland
I can see a Derek Harper/Shaun Livingston type.
Livingston is a good comparison...long; good defender; plays calm and with confidence. Livingston wasn‘t a three point threat either. Ayo could be a great asset to many teams, but If he develops a consistent three point shot, with his ability to drive if a defender comes out to cover...he’s a force.
 
There is often just so much disrespect to Ayo’s game on here, for someone who single-handidly took on the responsibility with this staff to bring Illinois back to relevance again! Just let the kid be great!!🎖🏀
I don't think it's disrespect, though I can see why it's taken as such. I'm willing to bet that everybody on here respects the heck out of Ayo and feels a deep sense of gratitude for him choosing to come here and for what he did after coming here. Ayo wasn't just a bunch of hype like JCL...that dude came in here, turned an entire program around almost single-handedly, and made himself into one of the most beloved players we've had in a generation. None of that can or will be taken away from him, no matter how his professional career progresses. Once an Illini, always an Illini; and once an Illini legend, well, good luck eating a meal in C-U without getting asked for a picture or an autograph.

Now, just because all of those things are true doesn't mean we can't be clear eyed in assessing his game through the lens of professional ball. Ayo excels in a number of areas that made him a killer in college, but his game has some glaring holes that could really impact his ability at the next level. He almost exclusively favors one hand. He is extremely fast but lacks bounce and isn't particularly quick laterally (huge for defense). He has a shot release that is extremely low and likely to be blocked quite a bit or otherwise prevent him from taking shots he should otherwise be able to take. He is a poor three point shooter. He occasionally shows good handles but isn't able to utilize them in game situations much, if at all, to create separation, instead relying on his size and quickness. And, as a result, he mostly drives in a straight line, as was highlighted against Miami at the end of the game (if my memory serves me right).

Again, Ayo is an awesome ball player!!!! But the margins shrink at the next level. A player's quickness is measured against De'Aaron Fox and Russell Westbrook instead of Cassius Winston and Anthony Cowan. Physical traits matter less unless they translate into absolute lockdown defense -- Ayo has shown he can be a good defender, but he hasn't emphasized this part of his game as much. Shooting sub 30% is only acceptable if your last name is Antetokounmpo or Westbrook, and even in the case of the latter, his shooting nearly sunk his career the last few years and ultimately forced a team to build everything around him.

I hope all of this analysis is dead wrong, and I hope Ayo is a surefire draft pick whenever it happens. And I hope he taps into all that latent potential he still has, hones his game, and is able to carve out a long career in the NBA. That would be seriously awesome. He certainly has the potential, but I need to see more of it realized before believing he's a surefire rotation player in the league.
 
I don't think it's disrespect, though I can see why it's taken as such. I'm willing to bet that everybody on here respects the heck out of Ayo and feels a deep sense of gratitude for him choosing to come here and for what he did after coming here. Ayo wasn't just a bunch of hype like JCL...that dude came in here, turned an entire program around almost single-handedly, and made himself into one of the most beloved players we've had in a generation. None of that can or will be taken away from him, no matter how his professional career progresses. Once an Illini, always an Illini; and once an Illini legend, well, good luck eating a meal in C-U without getting asked for a picture or an autograph.

Now, just because all of those things are true doesn't mean we can't be clear eyed in assessing his game through the lens of professional ball. Ayo excels in a number of areas that made him a killer in college, but his game has some glaring holes that could really impact his ability at the next level. He almost exclusively favors one hand. He is extremely fast but lacks bounce and isn't particularly quick laterally (huge for defense). He has a shot release that is extremely low and likely to be blocked quite a bit or otherwise prevent him from taking shots he should otherwise be able to take. He is a poor three point shooter. He occasionally shows good handles but isn't able to utilize them in game situations much, if at all, to create separation, instead relying on his size and quickness. And, as a result, he mostly drives in a straight line, as was highlighted against Miami at the end of the game (if my memory serves me right).

Again, Ayo is an awesome ball player!!!! But the margins shrink at the next level. A player's quickness is measured against De'Aaron Fox and Russell Westbrook instead of Cassius Winston and Anthony Cowan. Physical traits matter less unless they translate into absolute lockdown defense -- Ayo has shown he can be a good defender, but he hasn't emphasized this part of his game as much. Shooting sub 30% is only acceptable if your last name is Antetokounmpo or Westbrook, and even in the case of the latter, his shooting nearly sunk his career the last few years and ultimately forced a team to build everything around him.

I hope all of this analysis is dead wrong, and I hope Ayo is a surefire draft pick whenever it happens. And I hope he taps into all that latent potential he still has, hones his game, and is able to carve out a long career in the NBA. That would be seriously awesome. He certainly has the potential, but I need to see more of it realized before believing he's a surefire rotation player in the league.
Perfectly stated. I wasn't disrespecting his game. The guy will be an all time favorite and my kid idolizes him. Every point you hit on is right on the money.
 
Questioning his ceiling is fair and it's the point of the conversation. Ultimately, NBA GM's answer the question and those questions are going to be answered about Cowan and Winston too. Winston is a winner and is the All Time assist leader in the conference for God's sake. He stayed four years and his draft stock is questionable.

I think the NBA is going to love his height and his intangibles, but that's the extent of what they're going to mark as above average.

As a HUGE fan, I think that if drafting players out of HS was an option for NBA GM's, Miller would go before him.

Dee Brown, Dimitri McCamey, Frank Williams, Luther Head.....all favorites and all more complete players than Ayo...but none stuck. Being an NBA player puts you as one of the top 400 players, regardless of age, in the WORLD.
Demetri more complete than Ayo? I feel you are severely how good Ayo was this year. This has nothing to do w Ayos NBA prospectus. Luther was not more complete than Ayo as a soph. Luther made it in the league because he could shoot and being a good athlete.
 
No disrespect. There are different views. His game has holes. His vertical is limited. He could be stronger. His defense is average. His outside shot is, well, unimpressive. He has instincts and intangibles, and an uncanny ability to take his defender off the dribble, get to the rack, and finish. This is college. High D-1, yes, but still college. He'll face elite defenders in the NBA who are stronger and faster than he is, and equally crafty. Without a reliable outside shot, he'll be a middling, situational player in the NBA. He's Stephen Bardo on steroids.

I think he's gone, but I also think he could benefit from another year in training, leading a potential Top-10 squad and maybe making a deep tournament run. His skill set is unbalanced enough that he will be a player many teams won't want to take a run at. With another year of seasoning, and possible improvement in his perimeter game, his stock would rise. Personally, I don't think he can improve his outside shot much. His form is, in a word, atrocious. Still, when the game's on the line, he knocks them down. Again, intangibles.
 
Livingston is a good comparison...long; good defender; plays calm and with confidence. Livingston wasn‘t a three point threat either. Ayo could be a great asset to many teams, but If he develops a consistent three point shot, with his ability to drive if a defender comes out to cover...he’s a force.
Ehhh...Livingston was an outstanding passer. Probably better handles, too.