CHAMPAIGN — Ayo Dosunmu’s pursuit of multiple national player of the year honors remains strong despite missing the last three Illinois games with a facial injury and concussion.
The Illini junior guard was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith College Player of the Year Trophy on Thursday. Dosunmu is also a finalist for the Bob Cousy Point Guard Award and was one of 20 players included on a late-season watch list for the Wooden Award. The latter is another national player of the year honor.
Dosunmu is the only player in the country averaging at least 20 points, six rebounds and five assists. He’s also the first to hit the mark since Ohio State’s Evan Turner did so during the 2009-10 season when he was named Associated Press Player of the Year in addition to winning the Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy. Dosunmu, who is averaging 21 points, 6.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists, joined former Michigan State star Magic Johnson as now the only two players in Big Ten history with multiple triple-doubles in conference play.
Dosunmu had the third triple-double in Illinois history with 21 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists in a win against then-No. 19 Wisconsin on Feb. 6. Two weeks later, he put up the fourth triple-double in program history with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a win at Minnesota on Feb. 20.
Naismith Trophy semifinalists
A look at who’s still in contention for one of the national player of the year honors handed out in college basketball after the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced these 10 on Thursday:
Baylor guard is clear-cut leader of the third-ranked Bears.
Potential top pick in 2021 NBA draft carrying Oklahoma State.
Michigan center is front-runner for Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
Illinois guard still has case to win this despite facial injury.
Iowa’s all-time leading scorer was preseason POY favorite.
Houston guard shining with Cougars after leaving Kansas.
Alabama senior forward’s contributions go beyond just scoring.
Gonzaga’s top scorer is proficient shooter for No. 1 Bulldogs.
Southern Cal 7-foot freshman leads Pac-12 in blocks, rebounds.
Former Illini recruiting target is tearing it up for Gonzaga.