Illini Basketball Target, 5-Star Prospect Ayo Dosunmu Announcing Thursday

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UPDATE: official: Ayo Dosunmu picks the Illini, full story here

The wait is just about over and perhaps a metaphorical weight will be lifted for Illini basketball fans. The Ayo Dosunmu decision date and time is set. It’s down to just Wake Forest and Illinois (who coincidentally play each other in this year’s B1G/ACC Challenge) for the services of Ayo Dosunmu.

His college announcement will be this Thursday at 7 p.m. central at the Jordan Brand store on 32 S. State St.

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Ayo’s high school, Morgan Park, has a relationship with Jordan Brand, so this is a natural place and time for the point guard to do the hat ceremony. Also, both Illinois and Wake Forest are Nike schools, and in this age, where every waking moment for every one of us is a living, breathing native advertisement, college choice announcements are some times at stores now.

Dosunmu was on campus for his official Illinois visit this past weekend, and visited Wake last month. He’s the top rated player in the state and a top 30 combo guard.

“The visit was great,” Dosunmu told local media.

There seems to be a very strong indication that the front-runner for Illinois Mr. Basketball 2018 will be staying home. The 24/7 Sports Ayo Dosunmu Crystal Ball predictor right now is lighting up 100% Illini.

If Dosunmu does indeed commit to Illinois the day after tomorrow, this will check off a lot of boxes, and lift a ton of spirits in Illini nation.

No five star prospect or McDonald’s All-American has signed with the Illini (nor any other school in the entire state for that matter) since Jereme Richmond in 2010. Ironically, this drought began at the same exact time that the McDAAG moved to Chicago.

We’ll see if Dosunmu is named to the McDAAG team in January, but in the much bigger picture, Illinois athletics really needs good news right now. That football game Ayo Dosunmu was at witnessed a new low for Lovie Smith’s program, and there are legitimate fears that things could somehow, someway. sinker even lower than the current status quo on the gridiron.

At the very least, the home loss to Rutgers ensures that the rest of the football season (there’s a whole half left) will be nothing but live reps for 2018, in the hopes that next season will be less of an embarrassing failure.

On the men’s basketball side, long term hopes are quite high as Illini basketball made a home run hire in Brad Underwood. One preseason magazine ranked his addition as the best hire of the year.

The new coach also filled out his staff with some impressive assistants. They are the type of assistants who specialize in recruiting top talent, such as Dosunmu too.

However, not much is expected of Underwood’s first Illini team, which is very young, inexperienced and certainly short-handed. Preseason publications see Illinois finishing anywhere from 10th to 13th, with 11th place the most common pick.

Then you have the fact that National Signing Day is fast approaching, and Illinois is the only B1G school without a commit.

Ayo Dosunmu changes all of that Thursday if/when he puts the Illini basketball hat on.

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From there, a whole lot of other fantastic dominoes could fall for Illinois, but we’ll save that discussion for when the time comes.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

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