Illinois' Ayo Dosunmu Says He Let Team Down in Upset Loss to Loyola-Chicago

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIMarch 21, 2021

Illinois' Ayo Dosunmu (11) is defended by Loyola of Chicago's Lucas Williamson (1) during the first half of a college basketball game in the second round of the NCAA tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis Sunday, March 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

Illinois star Ayo Dosunmu is taking the blame for his team's loss to No. 8 Loyola-Chicago. 

"I let my team down today," he said, via Jeremy Werner of 247Sports. "I can take it. I can take the criticism. I've taken it all. It's another bump in the road." 

"We couldn't throw a penny in the ocean," Dosunmu added regarding the team's play, per Werner.

Dosunmu, who averaged 20.6 points per game through 27 appearances entering Sunday, recorded just nine points as the Fighting Illini fell 71-58. 

The Chicago native, who is the first NCAA player in 11 years to average at least 20 points, six rebounds and five assists per game, was a consensus first-team All-American this season and was named the Big Ten's Most Outstanding Player. He is a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award and Naismith Trophy and appears on the national ballot for the Wooden Award.

But he struggled Sunday against the top defensive team in the country. 

Dosunmu was limited to 4-of-10 shooting with two rebounds and two assists. Kofi Cockburn carried scoring for the Illini, with 21 points and nine rebounds on 7-of-12 shooting from the field. But the pair were overcome by 19 points from Loyola big Cameron Krutwig and 14 each from Marquise Kennedy and Lucas Williamson.

While it will be the Ramblers rather than the Illini who will face the winner of Sunday's Oregon State/Oklahoma State matchup, Dosunmu is likely headed to the NBA, where Bleacher Report's Zach Buckley mocked him to the Golden State Warriors at No. 14.