Ayo Dosunmu has drawn rave reviews from teammates and coaches throughout Chicago Bulls training camp.
First, it was DeMar DeRozan calling the rookie "pretty damn good," citing his toughness and scoring touch. Then, head coach Billy Donovan complimented the "impressive" 2021 second-round pick's "competitive spirit," confidence and desire to learn.
And on Sunday, after the Bulls defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 102-101 in a close-fought preseason bout, it was Zach LaVine's turn to sing Dosunmu's praises.
"He (Dosunmu) doesn't have any fear at all, offensively or defensively," LaVine said. "He asks a whole bunch of questions. He probably asks more questions than any rookie I've been around, on- and off-the-court subjects. So he wants to learn."
On Sunday, those qualities showed on the court. Dosunmu checked into the game for the first time at the 7:24 mark of the fourth quarter with the score knotted 86-86. From there, he scored nine points on 4-for-7 shooting (1-for-2 from 3), including back-to-back, game-icing floaters — one over the towering Tacko Fall — in the game's final 41 seconds.
"Dude is stone cold," LaVine continued. "Doesn't care about the situation. Going in there, he's going to play his heart out. He showed that (against the Cavaliers). He pretty much won us the game."
It's not as if any of this is new for Dosunmu. During his decorated three-season run at the University of Illinois, he authored plenty of heroic, late-game moments.
Though this instance won't count toward his eventual NBA track record, he'll look to use it as a springboard when the real games begin.