‘He has a huge ceiling ahead of him’ – The Denver Post


Every Chicago Bulls game at the United Center begins the same way — a raucous cheer as the public address announcer calls “Frommmm Chicago” to welcome second-year point guard Ayo Dosunmu to the court.

Dosunmu’s entry into the NBA was more rushed than planned. In his second season, the 22-year-old is running the Bulls offense yet again with Lonzo Ball injured.

But after being thrown into the deep end as a rookie, it’s clear Dosunmu has developed from a stopgap to a difference maker this season.

“He has a huge ceiling ahead of him,” coach Billy Donovan said. “He’s got a huge, huge growth opportunity ahead of him.”

Dosunmu spent his summer in the Advocate Center gym, working with his father and the Bulls coaching staff to improve his shooting form. Despite shooting better than 50% as a rookie, Dosunmu wanted to speed up his release to be quicker off the dribble and in catch-and-shoot opportunities.

The resulting confidence in his shot is only aiding Dosunmu in making decisive plays.

“I’m at a point where even if I miss it, it feels good,” Dosunmu said. “I’m just continuing to do the same work that I put in, continuing to keep getting my shots up. The development coaching staff did a great job of that, watching film with me, continuing to encourage me in that area to see that I put the work in. So now it’s all about showing it.”

Dosunmu has been showing it in the early weeks of the season.

Although his shooting is on par with last season — 51% for 12.6 points per game compared with 52% for 8.8 points per game — it’s his 3-point shooting that shows the biggest leap. Dosunmu is shooting 45% from behind the arc, a seven-point increase from 2021-22.

While it’s still early in the season, Dosunmu’s improved long-range accuracy is a promising sign.

“He’s shot the ball well from the corners,” Donovan said. “I feel confident with the work that he’s put in, the preparation he’s put in. Every player is going to have good nights and bad nights, so a lot of it’s going to be just based on him putting the work in each and every day.”

While improved perimeter shooting adds a layer to Dosunmu’s offense, the guard’s game still revolves around getting downhill and directing the offense.

Donovan is urging Dosunmu to attack the rim. The Bulls feed off the young guard’s aggression, which can force defenses to collapse and create openings for Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vučević.

“We’ve tried to create spacing for him (Dosunmu) when he is coming down the floor, where he’s got room to do that and to be aggressive,” Donovan said. “That’s something he’s put a lot of time and attention and focus on. If it doesn’t help (him), it’s going to get (him) a pass to the next option. So we do need him attacking.”

When Goran Dragić arrived in Chicago, Dosunmu immediately sought him out before training camp sessions, spending 20 minutes at a time picking the veteran guard’s brain for experience over nearly two decades as a professional.

That eagerness to learn has been Dosunmu’s calling card since his early days as a Bull. He still referred to himself as a “rookie” until he stepped onto the court for his first game of the season. Dosunmu is approaching his second season with the same inquisitive focus as the first.

“I definitely still have a lot of room to improve, a lot of ways where I can get better,” Dosunmu said. “I’m learning game by game. That’s really my main thing. I want to just keep learning.”

Yet despite his consistent curiosity, Dosunmu’s teammates have noticed a change in the guard this season — more confident, more vocal. Dosunmu regularly grabs teammates — from rookies such as Dalen Terry to the veterans such as Andre Drummond — to administer pep talks and give in-game advice.

Although Dosunmu rose to his role as a leader last season, LaVine said it’s only to be expected that Dosunmu’s guidance would grow after shedding the rookie moniker.

“Experience is the best teacher,” LaVine said. “Coming out last year, being put in that position and then flourishing in it — experience is the best thing for all of us. In our careers, we gain the most from experience and opportunity.”



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