When the Bulls drafted Ayo Dosunmu last year, odds are they didn’t anticipate him having to play in the significant role he has this season.
But, given the delays Lonzo Ball has faced during recovery, Dosunmu now plays over 30 minutes per game as a starting guard. And the 22 year old has embraced every opportunity that’s come his way.
Recapping His Rookie Year
Last season was Ayo Dosunmu’s first in the NBA, and the second-round pick didn’t disappoint in the slightest. Through 77 games, including 40 starts, Dosunmu finished with 10.9 PPG, 5.4 APG, and 3.6 rebounds per game he started.
When Ball and Caruso went down, the rookie stepped up big time – hence the 40 starts – as he attempted to fill their playmaking and defensive shoes. He showed many flashes of greatness all year, like when he led the Bulls to their final win of the season with 26 points against the playoff-bound Minnesota Timberwolves. Oh, and both Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan missed that game.
Despite seeing decreased usage in the playoffs for the Bulls’ first-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks, Dosunmu still found himself named to the 2022 NBA All-Rookie team as a second-team selection. His rookie year showed plenty of promise, and the young Bull shows no signs of slowing down.
Embracing Year Two
To date, Ayo Dosunmu has appeared in 12 of the Bulls’ 13 games so far this season. This year, he’s averaging 12.1 points, 3.2 assists, and 4 rebounds per game. Much of his success comes from his aggressiveness when attacking the basket. Compared to last year’s 2.5 attempts per game, Dosunmu has almost doubled his average layup attempts with 4.3 in 2022.
His quickness certainly helps, and it feels like he always finds an opportunity to blow by an opposing team’s defense at least once a game.
To add to the speed, he also spent quite a bit of time in the gym over the offseason. And it certainly shows when he can finish strongly on a play after some contact. Head coach Billy Donovan has clearly noticed his added strength too with his comments in a recent interview, “The biggest difference I see is he’s physically different this year. He’s put size on. He’s gotten stronger.”
We couldn’t agree more. As the year goes on, look for Dosunmu to continue punishing opponents when he drives to the rim.
What’s Next For Dosunmu and the Bulls?
The Chicago Bulls next game takes place this Sunday, November 13 against reigning M.V.P. Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. Next week, the team will face the New Orleans Pelicans on the road followed by two home games with the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics coming to town.
Then, starting on Wednesday, November 23, the team will take off on a six-game road trip starting with the Milwaukee Bucks and ending with the Sacramento Kings on December 4.
Whether at home or on the road, we have no doubts that Ayo Dosunmu will continue to shine in his sophomore season.