Illini Basketball 2020-2021

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A friend of mine is a childhood friend of an Illini assistant coach. This news won’t shock anyone but what he is telling me is Kofi is 100% back and Ayo is 99.99% gone. I did find this interesting however. https://qctimes.com/sports/college/...cle_22138c73-d1ea-51f3-8b14-9aa86db2bc74.html
Thanks Pride for posting. One of Prince's better articles of all time. Matt Babcock of Babcock Sports is one of the NBA's premier talent assessors. His May 22, mock draft does not have Ayo in the first 2 rounds.
 
Thanks Pride for posting. One of Prince's better articles of all time. Matt Babcock of Babcock Sports is one of the NBA's premier talent assessors. His May 22, mock draft does not have Ayo in the first 2 rounds.
Gonna be a real downer if Ayo stays in the draft and that happens. Hopefully whatever info he's getting is for real and he gets a good contract.
 
I think it's in poor taste for our local journalists to write pieces like this. We should all be in full support of Ayo going pro, and actively trying to make that dream a reality for him. Constantly writing articles saying how this smart guy says Ayo shouldn't go pro and should come back isn't helping the cause. If Ayo is putting a lick of effort into his push for the NBA he already hears these voices and likely more important voices from NBA front offices.
 
I'm Ron Burgundy?
Texas
I think it's in poor taste for our local journalists to write pieces like this. We should all be in full support of Ayo going pro, and actively trying to make that dream a reality for him. Constantly writing articles saying how this smart guy says Ayo shouldn't go pro and should come back isn't helping the cause. If Ayo is putting a lick of effort into his push for the NBA he already hears these voices and likely more important voices from NBA front offices.
So you'd rather they all write "puff pieces", versus providing valuable, opposition insight you'd prefer not to hear?
 
So you'd rather they all write "puff pieces", versus providing valuable, opposition insight you'd prefer not to hear?
I don't think everything has to be puff pieces, but I agree with Tex in this case. How many of these articles do we need? How do you think it may look to AYO? I mean is he going to think from Illini Local that we only are selfish and don't believe in his abilities. Only because there are so many articles on this, let him find out and support whatever decision he makes.
 
St. Peters MO
Gonna be a real downer if Ayo stays in the draft and that happens. Hopefully whatever info he's getting is for real and he gets a good contract.
Others have stated that if he isn't taken in the first round, it might be more beneficial to be an UFA so he can pick the best situation for him.
 
No, I'd rather more articles related to how Ayo is an NBA caliber player. Point me towards a single puff piece that's been written about Ayo going pro. It's all been desperate pleas to get him to come back.
that is the definition of a puff piece because a reputable source with experience in NBA evaluations is saying that Ayo is not ready and so are many "analysts". Despite what we think, which is Ayo is a gem, unfortunately the consensus of experts are saying that a year more will count for Ayo. So writing the opposite would be pushing a narrative that is going against the current and therefore considered "Puff". Nobody that has watched Ayo from a fan perspective thinks anything other than the kid is a baller and any NBA team would be lucky to have him. But a journalist shouldn't write something to pander to the fans...that's for bloggers.
 
that is the definition of a puff piece because a reputable source with experience in NBA evaluations is saying that Ayo is not ready and so are many "analysts". Despite what we think, which is Ayo is a gem, unfortunately the consensus of experts are saying that a year more will count for Ayo. So writing the opposite would be pushing a narrative that is going against the current and therefore considered "Puff". Nobody that has watched Ayo from a fan perspective thinks anything other than the kid is a baller and any NBA team would be lucky to have him. But a journalist shouldn't write something to pander to the fans...that's for bloggers.
I'm not saying the evaluators opinion in question is wrong in any way, but there are talent evaluators out there that probably think Ayo is going to be drafted. None of our journalists are seeking these opinions out, only the ones telling Ayo to come back.
Edit: I'd feel a bit slighted if I were Ayo.
 
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If Ayo were basing his decision on published mock drafts, there would be no drama in this process. Seems like a lot of evaluators have doubts, but it only takes one GM to have a different opinion and change everything.
 
This year's NBA draft will be very unique due to the shutdown of sports and the inability of teams/scouts to evaluate and meet with players. One has to go no further than MLB to see their draft reduced from 41 rounds down to 5. I could see where some teams could literally pass in the late 2nd round and have heavy emphasis on the UDFA market. From an investment standpoint this would be the safe thing to.
 
I think it's in poor taste for our local journalists to write pieces like this. We should all be in full support of Ayo going pro, and actively trying to make that dream a reality for him. Constantly writing articles saying how this smart guy says Ayo shouldn't go pro and should come back isn't helping the cause. If Ayo is putting a lick of effort into his push for the NBA he already hears these voices and likely more important voices from NBA front offices.
I think you've missed the point of journalism.
 
The Villages, FL
I don't think Ayo can make a bad decision here, and he certainly won't make an uninformed one.

For the sports betters out there, I would make your Illinois bets now vs later because the small chance he does return is going to drastically affect the line on this team.
I don't understand this post. I am very definitely a sports bettor, and I counsel waiting to bet on the Illini until after Ayo is gone---the odds will be much better. Or, if you think his loss will be crucial, you won't want to bet on them at all. I suppose this advice to bet now is good if you truly believe he will be coming back, but all info I've read suggests that this isn't going to happen.
 
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Anybody who watched Ayo can see that he is legit. He has the work ethic and drive (and brains) to make it to the NBA. If he can somehow figure out his jump shot this summer look out. Whether he is drafted or not, Ayo will stick with an NBA team somehow. I'm not worried about that.

If Ayo comes back that's great for the Illini, but if he's gone it opens up lots of playing time for the freshmen to prove what they can do. We may not be AS good as we would've been with Ayo, but we'll still be a top 25 caliber team (if Kofi is back).
 
Whatever his decision is, I'm 100% on Team Dosunmu. The part of the article that makes me wonder is the talk about potential vs being a finished product. Ayo has outproduced a lot of players rated higher than him in the draft, but the other player's status is largely based on the perception of their ceiling. Would Ayo's draftability been higher had he left after his freshman year? An example that comes to mind is I believe Reggie Corbin would have been drafted last year. Now, I'm just hoping he gets a camp invite. Players have to weigh not just the risk of injury but the scout's perceptions. Ayo was better a better player his sophomore year than his freshman year, but I don't think he's getting the credit for it. So, would a junior year hurt him, even with big improvements because his perceived ceiling would go down? I would bet that Ayo is a way better 3-point shooter right now than he was at the end of the season, just because of his work ethic.

Anyway, not arguing one way or another. Just thinking out loud (in writing).
 
Anybody who watched Ayo can see that he is legit. He has the work ethic and drive (and brains) to make it to the NBA. If he can somehow figure out his jump shot this summer look out. Whether he is drafted or not, Ayo will stick with an NBA team somehow. I'm not worried about that.

If Ayo comes back that's great for the Illini, but if he's gone it opens up lots of playing time for the freshmen to prove what they can do. We may not be AS good as we would've been with Ayo, but we'll still be a top 25 caliber team (if Kofi is back).
In a normal NBA season I will see about 50+ games. "Current" Ayo can not "stick with an NBA team somehow" unless you are including the GLeague in with that statement. And, I really like Ayo & wish him all the best on the hardcourt in the future.
 
I am very definitely a sports bettor, and I counsel waiting to bet on the Illini until after Ayo is gone---the odds will be much better.
AYO leaving college is priced in at this point. Returning would be a substantial "earnings surprise".
 
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BU:1 Trash cans:0
Chicago
Whatever his decision is, I'm 100% on Team Dosunmu. The part of the article that makes me wonder is the talk about potential vs being a finished product. Ayo has outproduced a lot of players rated higher than him in the draft, but the other player's status is largely based on the perception of their ceiling. Would Ayo's draftability been higher had he left after his freshman year? An example that comes to mind is I believe Reggie Corbin would have been drafted last year. Now, I'm just hoping he gets a camp invite. Players have to weigh not just the risk of injury but the scout's perceptions. Ayo was better a better player his sophomore year than his freshman year, but I don't think he's getting the credit for it. So, would a junior year hurt him, even with big improvements because his perceived ceiling would go down? I would bet that Ayo is a way better 3-point shooter right now than he was at the end of the season, just because of his work ethic.

Anyway, not arguing one way or another. Just thinking out loud (in writing).
One of the knocks I've read against Ayo was that his relatively slight build would make it difficult for him to match the physicality of other players in the NBA. But based on his new training video, I think he's put that concern to rest. In my eyes, his new build significantly raises his ceiling as a player (addresses an old perceived weakness). Last year's play-making + this year's build = a dominant force in the B10. I can see it both ways. If Ayo can make a credible argument for being B10 POY this year, then that might be proof that he is ready to make the jump. On the other hand, I think him coming back would further cement the fact that he has outperformed and outworked his competitors, and proven his doubters wrong. Coming back this year could be a victory lap and a springboard into the first round next year. I can't imagine dominating the B10 and leading the team on a deep tourney run would hurt Ayo's draft stock.
 
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For some reason the Ayo situation reminds me exactly of Deron Williams after his Sophomore year in 2004. For some reason I think somebody talked him into coming back for the 2004-2005 season. I can't remember exactly how that turned out for the Illini and Deron personally. :D
 
One of the knocks I've read against Ayo was that his relatively slight build would make it difficult for him to match the physicality of other players in the NBA. But based on his new training video, I think he's put that concern to rest. In my eyes, his new build significantly raises his ceiling as a player (addresses an old perceived weakness). Last year's play-making + this year's build = a dominant force in the B10. I can see it both ways. If Ayo can make a credible argument for being B10 POY this year, then that might be proof that he is ready to make the jump. On the other hand, I think him coming back would further cement the fact that he has outperformed and outworked his competitors, and proven his doubters wrong. Coming back this year could be a victory lap and a springboard into the first round next year. I can't imagine dominating the B10 and leading the team on a deep tourney run would hurt Ayo's draft stock.
I think there are two counter arguments to this. First, you can't discount the possibility of him getting injured. You have to imagine the injury at the end of the MSU game looms large on his psyche. That was a close call and could have been absolutely devastating if something had torn in his knee.

Second, if (and that is a big if) he is getting feedback from one or more teams that they'd take him in the first round, then he has very little to gain by staying in the NCAA. If not, he should probably stay in school.
 
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