In what looked to be a magical season for Illinois and what ended up being all for not, Ayo Dosunmu wants redemption and a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament and has returned to Illinois for his third season. He said in his Twitter video announcing he’s coming back that “He wants a National Championship.” I’m not In the business of judging young men on the decisions they make for their future, at the end of the day it’s their choice. I think this is 100% the right choice for Ayo. With no combine as of yet, so much uncertainty, he might as well come back because the one thing I’m sure of is, there will be an NCAA Tournament of some kind and at the end of the day, he also moves closer towards getting a College degree from a very good University. This is a team I loved last season, now they return a preseason First Team All-American in Dosunmu.
Here is their Lineup going into next season:
PG: Trent Frazier
SG: Ayo Dosunmu
SF: Adam Miller
PF: Da’Monte Williams
C: Kofi Cockburn
Bench: Jacob Grandison (Holy Cross), Austin Hutcherson (D3), Giorgi Bezhanishvili, Andre Curbelo, Coleman Hawkins.
This is an elite team. The starting line up seems small with Williams at the 4 but he plays much bigger than his 6’3″ frame, he is an elite defender and can guard 1-4 with ease and can switch.
Trent Frazier is one of the best on-ball defenders in College Basketball, he struggled shooting last season at only 30% which was what he was most known for before this season was his shooting but he made up for his issues shooting with his elite defense. He’s a great senior leader who will be an ALL-B1G player this season.
Ayo averaged 16.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game, while he shot 48% from the field, and 29% from deep. His scoring ability from mid-range and at the hoop is something I’ve rarely seen from a guard. He’s just different when it comes to scoring ability, he one of the most talented players I’ve seen in College Basketball, his shooting will improve, he has a decent looking jumper. He’s a great athlete, good passer, his defense isn’t great but he can definitely cause some turnovers and get out in transition. He had ice in his veins also he always took and made the big shot, if there’s someone built for the lights in March, it’s Ayo Dosunmu.
Adam Miller is a top 50 recruit who was a high school teammate of Ayo Dosumnu, he’s a great shooter and with that possibly being an issue for this time he will fill a huge role. He won’t handle the ball much on this team but sit on the wing and catch-and shoot will be what he does this year and do it well.
Kofi Cockburn is a LARGE HUMAN. He’s expected to be back for his sophomore season. He’s a great scorer down-low with how strong he is a good rebounder and a solid defender, he’s a real difference maker and will be an NBA player if he can improve upon his footwork and mobility.
Jacob Grandison sat last season but averaged 13.9 points per game in 2018-19, while he shot 36% from deep, he is a 6’6 wing. Will play a big bench role this year, he and Austin Hutcherson will be the same kind of players this season.
Giorgi Bezhanishvili is a guy who had a really bad Sophomore season, he lacked confidence and that was evident he fell out of favor with Brad Underwood late in the season but when he can use his dominant left hand consistently he can be very good.
Andre Curbelo will fill the Andres Feliz role of a guard who’s fearless and will snag rebounds, play tough defense and knock down shots when needed, that’s a thing every elite team needs
This team is a Top-4 pre-season team for me and the preseason favorite in the Big Ten.