Utah Jazz NBA Draft Prospects: Ayo Dosunmu
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NBA Draft is next week and with the 30th pick the draft, the Utah Jazz will have a variety of options from whom to select. One of those options is Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu whose name is expected to be called late in the first round of the draft.
Dosunmu is a junior who played both backcourt positions at Illinois and averaged an impressive 20.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.3 assists during his final college season.
The 6’5 guard also shot impressive from the floor as a junior, connecting on 48 percent of his field-goal attempts and 39 percent of his three-point attempts.
Ayo Dosunmu: Guard – Illinois
20.1 Points, 6.3 Rebounds, 5.3 Assists, 48.8/39.0/78.3
Strengths: Dosunmu’s physical profile is what initially jumps off the page standing 6’5 in shoes with a strong 6’10 wingspan. In a league that continues to trend towards positional versatility on both ends of the floor, Dosunmu has the type of length that could fill a variety of roles in the NBA.
On the floor, the Illinois guard showed off a variety of skills that could carve out a role for him with whichever team drafts him. Dosunmu led the Illini in scoring at over 20 points per game showing an ability to get to the rim in isolation, shoot the three, and attack in transition.
Dosunmu has shown an ability to dribble into his shot which he can get off over smaller defenders.
Additionally, he led the team in assists at more than five per game despite playing not being the lead ballhandler in Illinois’ offense.
The majority of Dosunmu’s assists came as an operator in the pick and roll where he teamed well with the Illinois big men creating easy looks at the rim on lobs and out of traps.
On the other end, the guard uses his length and nimble feet to fight over and around screens, challenge shooters, and slow defenders at the point of attack. Dosunmu’s 1.1 steals per game are an enormously high number for a college player, but his ability to defend potentially three positions will be one of his biggest strengths in the NBA.
Weaknesses: Despite his impressive statistics offensively, Dosunmu might not be a natural scorer at the next level. The guard did a lot of damage offensively in transition either pulling up for threes or getting to the rim, but may struggle in the NBA if tasked with being a pure shot creator.
One area that will slow Dosunmu as a pro is his loose ball handling which isn’t up to par with above-average NBA creators. The guard’s 6’10 wingspan and herky-jerky dribble won’t create as much space against NBA defenders as it did in college.
Furthermore, he’s only an average athlete, posting a 27.9-inch standing vertical leap and a 33-inch max vert, the second-worst of any guard at this year’s combine. That will affect him on both ends of the floor both finishing at the rim in the NBA, and contesting shots against bigger more athletic players.
There should also be some skepticism about his three-point shooting numbers as he shot just 33 percent as a freshman and sophomore before dropping his three-point attempts as a junior to fewer than three per game during a COVID-19 shortened season.
Overall: Dosunmu proved to be one of the most decorated players entering the draft being named to the All-Big Ten team as a sophomore and junior, winning the Big Ten Tournament Player of the Year Award, and the Bob Cousy Award which is handed out to the best point guard in the country as a junior.
His ability to run the pick and roll with a more traditional big man as he did at Illinois could make him a better fit with the Jazz than with some other offenses around the NBA, and his defensive versatility on the perimeter would be an immediate upgrade.
However, fans hoping to see his 20 point per game average translate from college to the NBA may be disappointed with his offensive production.
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