LIVE! Dosunmu commits to the Illini

LIVE! Dosunmu commits to the Illini

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Early recruiting misses were starting to pile up for first-year Illinois coach Brad Underwood in his dogged pursuit of a Class of 2018 big man.

One after another in the span of less than a week.

Illini basketball fans were starting to have some of the same panicked feelings that seem to surface every fall. 

Then Ayo Dosunmu committed.

Dosunmu's Thursday night decision, which saw Dosunmu say yes to Illinois and no to Wake Forest, was cause for celebration in some Illini basketball circles. A big sigh of relief in others.

The ghosts of recruiting past were busted in his announcement ceremony in downtown Chicago.

The Morgan Park standout is the first Illinois commit in the 2018 class, giving the Illini a five-star point guard and top 20 national prospect. 

Underwood has two more scholarships to fill. A wing and a big man remain on his wish list.

After a slow start, Illinois has landed its top priority. There's work still to be done for 2018, but the Illini now have a major card to play with a recruiting pitch that now includes, "Come play with Ayo."

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There's nothing to give away with the setup at the Jordan Brand store in the Loop for Ayo Dosunmun's commitment decision.

Like the avatar the five-star point guard — and his family — chose for Twitter today, a matte black is the backdrop for the decision.

Or, probably more accurately, THE decision for Illinois basketball in the 2018 class.

The man of the hour just arrived with his dad upstairs at the Jordan Brand store.

There's a halfcourt up here, but there's no word on if anybody's going to get up some shots later.

The big event, of course, is Dosunmu choosing between Illinois and Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons already have the makings of a strong 2018 class — currently ranked 11th in the country — with four-star forwards Jaylen Hoard and Isaiah Mucius and three-star guard Sharone Wright Jr.

Illinois, of course, has zero commitments in the 2018 class. Dosunmu would be an important get for Brad Underwood and Co. to jumpstart the class.

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Will he or won't he? 

That's the question for Illinois basketball fans when it comes to Ayo Dosunmu's commitment decision. Will the five-star Morgan Park point guard pick the Illini? Or won't he and opt for Wake Forest instead?

The answer is coming. Dosunmu is set for a 7 p.m. announcement at the Jordan Brand store in downtown Chicago. That's where he'll excite one fan base and disappoint another, although it's probably a more precipitous fall for the Illini faithful if he chooses the Demon Deacons.

Like first-year coach Brad Underwood, the Illinois fans have a lot riding on Dosunmu's decision. They're an optimistic, yet cautious, bunch. A series of recruiting misses — some brutal — during the last decade can do that.