2021 NBA Draft: Illinois star Ayo Dosunmu declares after leading program to No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament


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After leading Illinois to a No. 1 seed in its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2013, Ayo Dosunmu has declared for the 2021 NBA Draft, the program announced Tuesday. Dosunmu earned first-team All-American honors from the Associated Press, CBS Sports and others after averaging 20.1 points and 5.3 assists as a junior this season.

“For all you have done for Illinois Basketball, Thank You Ayo,” the program’s official Twitter account said. 

Dosunmu is ranked No. 14 in the 2021 NBA Draft Prospect Rankings and was taken 16th in a February mock draft by Kyle Boone of CBS Sports.

The 6-foot-5 Dosunmu improved in a couple of key areas this season to make him a likely first-round selection. By upping his number of assists by two per game to 5.3, he proved his mettle as a distributor. By improving his 3-point shooting percentage from 29.6% as a sophomore to 38.6% as a junior, he also flashed the outside shooting promise that is essential for guards in the modern NBA.

Dosunmu flirted with turning pro last year after rising to stardom as a sophomore and earning first-team All-Big Ten honors. However, he ultimately decided to return for another season of college basketball along with Illini star big man Kofi Cockburn. Together, the two led the program to a 16-4 record in the Big Ten, which was the program’s best since it made the national championship game in 2005.



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