Dosunmu’s consistency leading the way for Illini

By Miles Powers-Huang, Assistant Sports Editor

At the beginning of his freshman year, Ayo Dosunmu was getting the looks, but not scoring at an efficient rate.

Heading into the Dec. 29 matchup against Florida Atlantic, Dosunmu was averaging 11.1 points per game coming off of a two-point performance in the bragging rights game against Missouri.

The Illini freshman went out against the Owls and scored 21 points in a losing effort. He followed that with 20 and 18 points, respectively, in road losses at Indiana and Northwestern.

Illinois welcomed then-undefeated Michigan to Champaign, where the freshman put up 23 points and added a few LeBron-esque blocks in the competitive defeat.

The freshman quickly became the catalyst for Illinois, finally ending its losing streak after scoring 23 points in the win over Minnesota at the State Farm Center on Jan. 16.

Although the Illini were blitzed by the three ball at Iowa on Saturday, Dosunmu successfully added 15 points.

Prior to the Florida Atlantic game, Dosunmu was still averaging double figures scoring-wise but was missing far more shots than he made, which hurt Illinois given his importance on offense. In the six games following the Maui Invitational, he failed to shoot above .500 from the field in any of the contests, and he hit double figures, with only 10, just twice.

In the Illini’s six games since, his shooting percentage has been .500 or above in four of the six games and put up a total of 120 points. Over that time frame, his scoring average has also increased from 11.1 to 14.2 points per game.

Those who questioned whether or not the Illini and Dosunmu would fold after a rough start to Big Ten play received a resounding answer from the freshman following the win against the Gophers.

“Earlier in the season we took a lot of punches. Now it’s time for us to throw punches,” Dosunmu said.

@MilesP_H

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