Illini Basketball 2019-2020

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I’m eager to see what his 1 dribble scoring game looks like from the pinch post. In our offense that skill is vital for the player who starts there. Opens up so much more. Time will tell.
I feel if he can do what you mentioned from the pinch post then that's icing on the cake. IMO it is not vital. Rebounding, matching up physically, and a defensive prescence at the rim are vital and what we lacked last year.
It is also vital we have someone that can be physically tough and fill those similar roles at the 4 when GB slides over to the 5. Imo the other tasks we have covered pretty well but those things are vital for our team as a unit to challenge fir the championship in the B10 tourney.
 
       
Something I'm excited to see is the wing development this year. Haven't had a real chance to see what this staff can do with their recruits at that position. I guess we are all assuming (probably correctly) that Kofi and Giorgi will eat the major minutes at the 4/5, and 1/2 will all but be consumed by Frazier, Ayo, and Feliz.

Jordan had a really good year last year, especially considering he was the "4" for a metric ton of minutes. DMW was quietly great in is role. I think the staff has really focused on improving strengths, rather than lessening weaknesses. Which is fine by me, especially given our roster construction.

By that I mean we have real stars in 4/5 positions, and Feliz is a great 6th man. Assuming Trent, Ayo, Giorgi and Feliz hover around 25 mins each and Kofi around 20 ( I think everyone elses PT is really up in the air at this point), that leaves about 5 mins at the two guard positions, 40 at the 3, and about 35 for the 4/5 spots. Lets assuming BBV is around 10 mins and Hamlin or some other center type gets 5. That's about 65 minutes between guys like DMW, Griffin, Jones, and Kipper.

There's a lot of interesting stuff you can do with them. Kipper obviously has time at the 4, though I'd really like to see the staff play him outside more. I think DMW gets more playing time than anyone is expecting. his rebounding and defense were just so far ahead of the majority of the roster last year that I think if he can become an average scorer, he could easily average over 20 minutes a game. Euro trip showed Griffin was capable of really lighting it up.

In any case, we have a good problem with a lot of potential guys making leaps to provide a quality 5th starter. Even if someone doesn't truly break out, slight improvements to those listed above would go a long way for those 65 minutes of toss up PT.
 
       
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Glenview, IL
Ayo comes in at #6 in this list of the 10 best point guards in college basketball for the 2019-20 season:

https://www.cbssports.com/college-b...llege-basketball-entering-the-2019-20-season/

6. Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois
2018-19 stats: 13.8 PPG, 3.3 APG, 16.9 PER

With a blue-chip resume (a former five-star recruit) and a stellar freshman season (13.8 PPG; Big Ten All-Freshman team), Ayo Dosunmu couldn've selected somewhere inside the top 40 of the NBA Draft. But he didn't even declare. And now, as a sophomore, he leads the Illini as they surge into the season with all sorts of buzz. Brad Underwood's got a track record of centering his offensive system around elite guards -- (see: Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State) -- and now he's got the talent in place to make magic again with Dosunmu.
 
       
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Cary, IL
Something I'm excited to see is the wing development this year. Haven't had a real chance to see what this staff can do with their recruits at that position. I guess we are all assuming (probably correctly) that Kofi and Giorgi will eat the major minutes at the 4/5, and 1/2 will all but be consumed by Frazier, Ayo, and Feliz.

Jordan had a really good year last year, especially considering he was the "4" for a metric ton of minutes. DMW was quietly great in is role. I think the staff has really focused on improving strengths, rather than lessening weaknesses. Which is fine by me, especially given our roster construction.

By that I mean we have real stars in 4/5 positions, and Feliz is a great 6th man. Assuming Trent, Ayo, Giorgi and Feliz hover around 25 mins each and Kofi around 20 ( I think everyone elses PT is really up in the air at this point), that leaves about 5 mins at the two guard positions, 40 at the 3, and about 35 for the 4/5 spots. Lets assuming BBV is around 10 mins and Hamlin or some other center type gets 5. That's about 65 minutes between guys like DMW, Griffin, Jones, and Kipper.

There's a lot of interesting stuff you can do with them. Kipper obviously has time at the 4, though I'd really like to see the staff play him outside more. I think DMW gets more playing time than anyone is expecting. his rebounding and defense were just so far ahead of the majority of the roster last year that I think if he can become an average scorer, he could easily average over 20 minutes a game. Euro trip showed Griffin was capable of really lighting it up.

In any case, we have a good problem with a lot of potential guys making leaps to provide a quality 5th starter. Even if someone doesn't truly break out, slight improvements to those listed above would go a long way for those 65 minutes of toss up PT.
I really think that Trent, Ayo and Giorgi will be more like 30 minutes per game. At least, as long as they stay out of foul trouble. Also, there are likely times that we will run a 3 guard line-up, Feliz may not be limited to 20 minutes. What I am anxious to see, is do we adjust to the competition or make the competition adjust to us? There are a lot of different potential line-ups to go big or small.
 
       
Ayo comes in at #6 in this list of the 10 best point guards in college basketball for the 2019-20 season:

https://www.cbssports.com/college-b...llege-basketball-entering-the-2019-20-season/

6. Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois
2018-19 stats: 13.8 PPG, 3.3 APG, 16.9 PER

With a blue-chip resume (a former five-star recruit) and a stellar freshman season (13.8 PPG; Big Ten All-Freshman team), Ayo Dosunmu couldn've selected somewhere inside the top 40 of the NBA Draft. But he didn't even declare. And now, as a sophomore, he leads the Illini as they surge into the season with all sorts of buzz. Brad Underwood's got a track record of centering his offensive system around elite guards -- (see: Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State) -- and now he's got the talent in place to make magic again with Dosunmu.

Ayo totally deserves this. I see a lot of hype on this board that I think is questionable, but not so with Ayo. When someone says he's a guy all of college bball will be talking about, I nod in agreement. Can't wait to see what he can do with a stronger team.

In addition to his many other gifts, Ayo is highly coachable. He's a guy I watched make small adjustments throughout the season, and I could see him improve. Love, love, love his transition game. Thing of beauty to see a guy on another level like he is take it to the rack before the defense can get set. Reminds me a tiny bit of HRF in that sense. HRF was mentally ahead of the rest of the floor, sometimes even his own team-mates. Ayo is like that in transition. He knows he can beat you, and just does it. Different skill sets to be sure, but that elite mentality is definitely part of his game.

Having him for a second season should be a real treat for us as fans. Enjoy it, fellow fans!
 
       
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Ayo totally deserves this. I see a lot of hype on this board that I think is questionable, but not so with Ayo. When someone says he's a guy all of college bball will be talking about, I nod in agreement. Can't wait to see what he can do with a stronger team.

In addition to his many other gifts, Ayo is highly coachable. He's a guy I watched make small adjustments throughout the season, and I could see him improve. Love, love, love his transition game. Thing of beauty to see a guy on another level like he is take it to the rack before the defense can get set. Reminds me a tiny bit of HRF in that sense. HRF was mentally ahead of the rest of the floor, sometimes even his own team-mates. Ayo is like that in transition. He knows he can beat you, and just does it. Different skill sets to be sure, but that elite mentality is definitely part of his game.

Having him for a second season should be a real treat for us as fans. Enjoy it, fellow fans!
One thing i was glad to hear BU say is that Ayo has added 20lbs to his body. One thing i think he could and will improve on is finishing at the rim and also this will only help him defensively. The extra beef should help improve and cause even more issues for smaller pgs as they try to match up with his size and physical strength. We need to be more physical at all spots in our line up not just down low. The muscle Ayo has added should literally pay dividends for his future this year and in his year$ in the NBA. That is just one reason i think returning for a 2nd year was a good idea for his future. I hope other players have added that much muscle. I would love if someone asked BU specifically about each players added muscle mass this year vs last. Especially players that may need to play the 4 spot like Tev, AG, and Kip. It would be interesting to hear the specific results but he did say Ayo added 20lbs this off season and i was fired up to hear it.
 
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Ayo comes in at #6 in this list of the 10 best point guards in college basketball for the 2019-20 season:

https://www.cbssports.com/college-b...llege-basketball-entering-the-2019-20-season/

6. Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois
2018-19 stats: 13.8 PPG, 3.3 APG, 16.9 PER

With a blue-chip resume (a former five-star recruit) and a stellar freshman season (13.8 PPG; Big Ten All-Freshman team), Ayo Dosunmu couldn've selected somewhere inside the top 40 of the NBA Draft. But he didn't even declare. And now, as a sophomore, he leads the Illini as they surge into the season with all sorts of buzz. Brad Underwood's got a track record of centering his offensive system around elite guards -- (see: Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State) -- and now he's got the talent in place to make magic again with Dosunmu.

(y)

Especially "Brad Underwood's got a track record of centering his offensive system around elite guards".

Glad, ultimately, we (seem to? hedging) have a good coach. One constant in place.
 
       
Hopefully Adam Miller reads this:

6. Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois
2018-19 stats: 13.8 PPG, 3.3 APG, 16.9 PER

With a blue-chip resume (a former five-star recruit) and a stellar freshman season (13.8 PPG; Big Ten All-Freshman team), Ayo Dosunmu couldn've selected somewhere inside the top 40 of the NBA Draft. But he didn't even declare. And now, as a sophomore, he leads the Illini as they surge into the season with all sorts of buzz. Brad Underwood's got a track record of centering his offensive system around elite guards -- (see: Jawun Evans, Oklahoma State) -- and now he's got the talent in place to make magic again with Dosunmu.

Young Mr. Miller, your table is set!
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Forgottonia
Kofi has the luxury of following GB, he's going to be a great help to his growth.....you don't play for BU unless you want to work.....he will be in shape with Fletch and BU. I expect positive things for him unless fouls complicate things. Anyone know what his foul history was at his prep school? Plus forgot to mention OA to mentor.
It's been reported he is in great shape and runs an extra mile after practice on his own.
 
       
Forgottonia
One thing i was glad to hear BU say is that Ayo has added 20lbs to his body. One thing i think he could and will improve on is finishing at the rim and also this will only help him defensively. The extra beef should help improve and cause even more issues for smaller pgs as they try to match up with his size and physical strength. We need to be more physical at all spots in our line up not just down low. The muscle Ayo has added should literally pay dividends for his future this year and in his year$ in the NBA. That is just one reason i think returning for a 2nd year was a good idea for his future. I hope other players have added that much muscle. I would love if someone asked BU specifically about each players added muscle mass this year vs last. Especially players that may need to play the 4 spot like Tev, AG, and Kip. It would be interesting to hear the specific results but he did say Ayo added 20lbs this off season and i was fired up to hear it.

Not sure about this. Someone's podcast (radio) had an interview with Ayo and he said he had gained 5 lbs. May have been Monday night WDWS when he and Giorgi were guests. Maybe Underwood was saying since he arrived?
 
       
Very doable imo...MSU game may really put us on the map. I think our guards match up, maybe not wings, inside might be a wash actually. I expect a close game there as well. Maryland is just big/athletic/experienced....for sure a loss I think. Smith will own us inside/out.

I look forward to Mr. Smith trying to bring it inside.
 
       
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It's been reported he is in great shape and runs an extra mile after practice on his own.

Nice! It's clear that this team has a very focused mindset and they are all working extremely hard. When stars like Ayo and Giorgi are working their tails off it just trickles down. Way to go Kofi! Keep up the hard work.
 
       
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Forgottonia
Nice! It's clear that this team has a very focused mindset and they are all working extremely hard. When stars like Ayo and Giorgi are working their tails off it just trickles down. Way to go Kofi! Keep up the hard work.
Couldn't agree more on the great leadership this team now has!
 
       
Not sure about this. Someone's podcast (radio) had an interview with Ayo and he said he had gained 5 lbs. May have been Monday night WDWS when he and Giorgi were guests. Maybe Underwood was saying since he arrived?
Go to the cover page here on Loyalty. The one with Ayo, BU, and GB at the desk being interviewed on B10 channel BU said that unless i heard him wrong. i am going to go listen again but i swear that is what he said.
Edit:
At the 3:48 mark of that video from B10 network that is posted on home page here on Loyalty if you want to listen it is good info. BU did says "In the off season Ayo has added 20lbs" maybe BU is wrong i dont know either way i am fired up again. I hope that is the case and Go Illini!
 
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He wasn’t the most active defender in the games I saw. Possibly just trying to not put the kids in the hospital - but he avoided contact by several feet as he let the plays go around him.
Checked it out, he averaged 19.7 minutes a game.....had 1.7 fouls a game average. Very positive! And 10.1 RB's a game! Plus 14.9 pts! Watch out haters!
 
       
Assuming Trent, Ayo, Giorgi and Feliz hover around 25 mins each and Kofi around 20 ( I think everyone elses PT is really up in the air at this point)

Facts:
1. Last year Illinois Basketball played 202 minutes per game (due to a handful of OT games). Or approximately 40.5 minutes at each position.
2. Ayo averaged 31.1, Trent 30.6, Giorgi 26.2, and Andres 22.3 minutes per game.
3. Trent would have matched Ayo's minutes per game and exceeded Ayo's Points per game if not for his flirtation with injury.
4. If Ayo averages less than 31 minutes per game something is not right and there will be serious question marks about him making it to the NBA draft, let alone the first round or lottery picks. Ayo's our best player by a long shot and he's going to be on the floor.
5. Giorgi's minutes were limited only by his inability to stay out of foul trouble. He is not as good as Ayo, but relative to positional talent around him he's better. With Kofi being mixed in Giorgi will not be "needed" as much but if Giorgi can find a way to play alongside Kofi, Giorgi will again see his minutes capped only by his ability to stay out of foul trouble.

My Opinions:
Ayo will average 32 minutes per game.
Giorgi will average 30 minutes per game.
Trent will average 30 minutes per game. - As long as he continues shooting 40+% and remains one our top defenders Trent needs to be on the floor.
Andres will average 19 minutes per game. I expect his ability to create for his teammates to improve, as well as his 3pt shooting. However, with Trent being 6-1 and Feliz being just 6-2, and with the expectations of improvement from Alan, Tevian, Kipper and the addition of Kofi I doubt Andres minutes will increase this season. Of course if Andres starts shooting the 3 at 40% we'll probably see a lot of Ayo+Trent+Feliz lineups this year but without the 3 I don't think we see that nearly as much as we did last year.
Kofi will average 25 minutes per game. I expect that Kofi will be slightly more limited than Giorgi was last year, mainly because we have Giorgi and therefore don't "need" him quite as much as we needed Giorgi last year. That being said I think Kofi will exceed Giorgi's defensive/rebounding abilitys from last year easily and wont struggle as much with fouls. Partly because of Kofi's size and talent, but mainly because he should have more help inside when from Giorgi then Giorgi got from any of his teammates last year. The other Illini players should also be more familiar with the system and more able to rotate and help out on defense.

**I am less confident in what's below**

If you're counting I've got
Center: Kofi + Giorgi taking all 40.5 minutes
1/2: Ayo + Trent + Andres taking all 81 minutes
4: Giorgi playing 14.5 minutes here
That leaves 40.5 minutes at the 3 that I expect Da'Monte, Alan, Kipper, and Tevian to fight over. (~10.1 min per player). Also, 26 minutes at the 4 that I expect Alan, Kipper, Tevian, and BBV to fight over. (~6.5 min per player)
Alan: 23 minutes (mostly at the 3). I predict Alan will see the most improvement and will earn more minutes. Alan could be our 3rd starter.
Da'Monte: 18 minutes (mostly at the 3). I predict Da'Monte will be used primarily for his defensive abilities but wont see much offensive improvement.
Tevian: 12 minutes (mostly at the 4). I predict that Tevian has some huge games both early and late in the season but has a little funk in the middle. But he'll be a star before he leaves Illinois.
Kipper: 9 minutes (mostly at the 4). I predict Good Kipper makes a few rare appearances but that he is primarily turned into a defensive tool at the 4 spot.
BBV: 4.5 minutes (mostly at the 4). I'd love to be wrong on this one but I just haven't seen BBV play so I have a hard time allocating more time to him. If he excels I think Kipper/Tev's minutes drop accordingly.
Hamlin: REDSHIRT - Underwood probably wont but he should.
 
       
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Facts:
1. Last year Illinois Basketball played 202 minutes per game (due to a handful of OT games). Or approximately 40.5 minutes at each position.
2. Ayo averaged 31.1, Trent 30.6, Giorgi 26.2, and Andres 22.3 minutes per game.
3. Trent would have matched Ayo's minutes per game and exceeded Ayo's Points per game if not for his flirtation with injury.
4. If Ayo averages less than 31 minutes per game something is not right and there will be serious question marks about him making it to the NBA draft, let alone the first round or lottery picks. Ayo's our best player by a long shot and he's going to be on the floor.
5. Giorgi's minutes were limited only by his inability to stay out of foul trouble. He is not as good as Ayo, but relative to positional talent around him he's better. With Kofi being mixed in Giorgi will not be "needed" as much but if Giorgi can find a way to play alongside Kofi, Giorgi will again see his minutes capped only by his ability to stay out of foul trouble.

My Opinions:
Ayo will average 32 minutes per game.
Giorgi will average 30 minutes per game.
Trent will average 30 minutes per game. - As long as he continues shooting 40+% and remains one our top defenders Trent needs to be on the floor.
Andres will average 19 minutes per game. I expect his ability to create for his teammates to improve, as well as his 3pt shooting. However, with Trent being 6-1 and Feliz being just 6-2, and with the expectations of improvement from Alan, Tevian, Kipper and the addition of Kofi I doubt Andres minutes will increase this season. Of course if Andres starts shooting the 3 at 40% we'll probably see a lot of Ayo+Trent+Feliz lineups this year but without the 3 I don't think we see that nearly as much as we did last year.
Kofi will average 25 minutes per game. I expect that Kofi will be slightly more limited than Giorgi was last year, mainly because we have Giorgi and therefore don't "need" him quite as much as we needed Giorgi last year. That being said I think Kofi will exceed Giorgi's defensive/rebounding abilitys from last year easily and wont struggle as much with fouls. Partly because of Kofi's size and talent, but mainly because he should have more help inside when from Giorgi then Giorgi got from any of his teammates last year. The other Illini players should also be more familiar with the system and more able to rotate and help out on defense.

**I am less confident in what's below**

If you're counting I've got
Center: Kofi + Giorgi taking all 40.5 minutes
1/2: Ayo + Trent + Andres taking all 81 minutes
4: Giorgi playing 14.5 minutes here
That leaves 40.5 minutes at the 3 that I expect Da'Monte, Alan, Kipper, and Tevian to fight over. (~10.1 min per player). Also, 26 minutes at the 4 that I expect Alan, Kipper, Tevian, and BBV to fight over. (~6.5 min per player)
Alan: 23 minutes (mostly at the 3). I predict Alan will see the most improvement and will earn more minutes. Alan could be our 3rd starter.
Da'Monte: 18 minutes (mostly at the 3). I predict Da'Monte will be used primarily for his defensive abilities but wont see much offensive improvement.
Tevian: 12 minutes (mostly at the 4). I predict that Tevian has some huge games both early and late in the season but has a little funk in the middle. But he'll be a star before he leaves Illinois.
Kipper: 9 minutes (mostly at the 4). I predict Good Kipper makes a few rare appearances but that he is primarily turned into a defensive tool at the 4 spot.
BBV: 4.5 minutes (mostly at the 4). I'd love to be wrong on this one but I just haven't seen BBV play so I have a hard time allocating more time to him. If he excels I think Kipper/Tev's minutes drop accordingly.
Hamlin: REDSHIRT - Underwood probably wont but he should.

Good analysis and suspect it will be pretty accurate with Ayo, Trent, Giorgi, Kofi, and Dre. Have trouble with only 12 mins for Tevian and would guess even the coaching staff doesn't know how it will work out for the others. I think by conference time it will be primarily 8 players, the 5 listed plus 3 others. Maybe the 3 others will vary from game to game based on matchups and who has the hot hand. Believe Alan will be one but there is a lot of interchangeable parts other than BBV. Going to depend on chemistry? defense? matchups? Great problem for coaches but tough to keep everyone happy. There aren't any players on this team that don't have value.
 
       
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Good analysis and suspect it will be pretty accurate with Ayo, Trent, Giorgi, Kofi, and Dre. Have trouble with only 12 mins for Tevian and would guess even the coaching staff doesn't know how it will work out for the others. I think by conference time it will be primarily 8 players, the 5 listed plus 3 others. Maybe the 3 others will vary from game to game based on matchups and who has the hot hand. Believe Alan will be one but there is a lot of interchangeable parts other than BBV. Going to depend on chemistry? defense? matchups? Great problem for coaches but tough to keep everyone happy. There aren't any players on this team that don't have value.
I agree with what you are saying wrt Tevian. It is extremely difficult to predict minutes this year with a number of players battling for PT. Tevian showed last year that he can play at a high level and we would have been able to see more if he hadn't earned the suspension. Griffin played well in Italy and is starting to live up the the lights out shooter reputation he had in high school. Fortunately I think this will work in our favor having players competing for playing time and not taking anything for granted. Having said that, here are a few things that I think will play a big role in distributing minutes:

How many minutes will Kofi be able to able to play? Will he get into foul trouble? He's talented and big but nobody has seen him play against D1 competition. I am very optomistic but realistically there will be a learning curve with improvement expected over the course of the season.

IF Kofi gets into foul trouble and Giorgi is forced to play extra minutes at the 5 how well will we play using our other options at the 4? Will good Kipper return? Is BBV healthy enough to log meaningful minutes? Can Tevian defend the 4 well enough to stay on the floor in that role? Will Hamlin see minutes or be redshirted? What if Giorgi has a game where he gets in foul trouble? Who then backs up Kofi at the 5?

These are all questions that I have BEFORE considering any possible injuries. I think we are very solid at the 1-2 and if everything works as it should we should be good at the 3 but if we have foul trouble or injuries at the 4-5 things could get dicey -we are still pretty inexperienced/thin at those positions. I would feel much better at BBV hadn't gotten injured. It's been very quiet on that front. I think he has huge upside and already has a college bball frame but how ready will he be to contribute significantly? idk. IMHO the key to success this year is at the 4-5. If we do not get it done there it leads to a domino of uncertainty and.....likely struggle.

Even if we do not struggle with fouls/injuries i think we will have the most bench minutes played in quite some time. If its because of fouls/injuries it will be a battle -if it's because we have players equallly deserving of minutes and interchangeable we will end the streak of no NCAA appearances.
 
       
Forgottonia
Go to the cover page here on Loyalty. The one with Ayo, BU, and GB at the desk being interviewed on B10 channel BU said that unless i heard him wrong. i am going to go listen again but i swear that is what he said.
Edit:
At the 3:48 mark of that video from B10 network that is posted on home page here on Loyalty if you want to listen it is good info. BU did says "In the off season Ayo has added 20lbs" maybe BU is wrong i dont know either way i am fired up again. I hope that is the case and Go Illini!
I’m fired up too! And I’m not trying to be argumentative, but for the record Ayo says at the 27 min mark of the Monday Night Sports Talk program that he is up to 191 from 186 at the end of last year.

Sometimes BU blows a little more smoke than he needs to imo. 20# seems way to much for Ayo’s body anyway.
 
       
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I’m fired up too! And I’m not trying to be argumentative, but for the record Ayo says at the 27 min mark of the Monday Night Sports Talk program that he is up to 191 from 186 at the end of last year.

Sometimes BU blows a little more smoke than he needs to imo. 20# seems way to much for Ayo’s body anyway.
A friend told me BU actually said something like
Ayo's gained like 20 quarts.🙄 He does look bigger and dare I say taller! 5 is good, 10 great.
 
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I’m fired up too! And I’m not trying to be argumentative, but for the record Ayo says at the 27 min mark of the Monday Night Sports Talk program that he is up to 191 from 186 at the end of last year.

Sometimes BU blows a little more smoke than he needs to imo. 20# seems way to much for Ayo’s body anyway.

Did BU mention that the 20#'s was with shoes or without?
 
       
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Nice article about Jermaine Hamlin in the News Gazette https://www.news-gazette.com/sports...cle_53a5bd78-7f12-5e32-a027-e3afd5e5c6b9.html
Supposedly he has a 7’- 4.5” wingspan. Underwood spoke highly of his defensive abilities calling him a quick twitch athlete. His length is very similar to Keon Clark from Danville who was a late bloomer as well and then went on to star at UNLV and play in the NBA. He had a lot of addiction issues though.
 
       
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