Illini in the NBA

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#682      

Calillini

Now appearing in Tampa
It’s interesting that Ayo was not generally considered an elite defender in college, was he?
He is really filling in the (small) holes in his game.
 
#685      

Chad Fleck

Eureka, IL
I sometimes recall thinking Ayo seemed a little lazy on defense, even last year. But I think the game was just kind of easy for him at that point.
 
#687      
He was a good defender who BU tried to hide at times so he could use most of his energy on offense. When he needed to he could definitely put the clamps on opponents.
100% this. In college his biggest value add was his scoring. In the NBA it's his defense. He's just good at everything and able to focus on what his team/coach needs most from him.
 
#691      

chiefini

Rockford, Illinois
#694      
I definitely don't recall him preventing penetration and/or moving on the hip of the ball handler like he has been with the Bulls. That's actually one of the things that stuck out about his last game with us -- Loyola's ball handlers were getting by him at will it seemed. And statistically, he's blocking nearly 3x the amount of shots he did in either his sophomore or junior seasons. I definitely don't think he was anything less than an above average defender in college, and juice man is spot on in that it seemed BU would save Ayo for offense and give DMW/Trent/AM those tougher assignments, but I also didn't foresee him ending up as an elite NBA defender immediately on arrival. Pretty wild and speaks a lot to those traits that DeMar spoke of in that video.
 
#695      

Joel Goodson

dawgville
I definitely don't recall him preventing penetration and/or moving on the hip of the ball handler like he has been with the Bulls. That's actually one of the things that stuck out about his last game with us -- Loyola's ball handlers were getting by him at will it seemed. And statistically, he's blocking nearly 3x the amount of shots he did in either his sophomore or junior seasons. I definitely don't think he was anything less than an above average defender in college, and juice man is spot on in that it seemed BU would save Ayo for offense and give DMW/Trent/AM those tougher assignments, but I also didn't foresee him ending up as an elite NBA defender immediately on arrival. Pretty wild and speaks a lot to those traits that DeMar spoke of in that video.

Whoever did is a damn liar. What's happened is truly awesome. Just to be clear, Ayo always had the makeup to be a great defender, but actually stepping up against the best is a whole 'nother story.
 
#697      

haasi

New York
All this success by Ayo might finally be able to draw me to watch some NBA games.
I’ve been watching regularly. It’s awesome- tons of playing time, closes out games, locking down opposing stars, making really good plays consistently. Plus bulls in general are fun to watch.

Before this year, I watched regular season games very rarely- I happened to get league pass with my tv package this year and now almost always turn on bulls if they’re on
 
#698      

skyIdub

Winged Warrior
All this success by Ayo might finally be able to draw me to watch some NBA games.
I’m here to tell you, I made this decision because of Ayo (and also Luka Magic), and it has been so much fun to watch. Stacey King is an absolute treasure on the NBCSChicago call, if you are able to get it.
Not too emotionally invested like with our Illini, so much more “fun” to watch.
Before this year I could count my NBA games watched since Dirks Mavs (2011) on two hands.
Very highly recommend.
 
#700      

Joel Goodson

dawgville
Ayo looks leaner than last year. That is probably giving him a little boost to lateral quickness.

Kudos to him to go from the superstar that was called upon to shoulder the load offensively to a defensive specialist so quickly.

Thing is, he's far more than a D specialist. And it's flippin' glorious!

The Bulls are appointment TV anyway, but the Ayo story puts it over the top.
 
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