Ayo Dosunmu

Bulls' Ayo Dosunmu isn't satisfied with career-high night

Third-year guard scored 34 points with nine assists in blowout victory over Wizards

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In many ways, the way Ayo Dosunmu played Saturday night while carving up the Washington Wizards is consistent with his overall philosophy.

Just as he relentlessly probed the defense for openings on his way to a career-high 34 points and nine assists in the Bulls’ victory, the third-year guard is always searching for avenues on how best to improve.

Just because Dosunmu is shoring up some of the weaknesses he listed in his journal following his underwhelming second season doesn’t mean he won’t break out that journal again throughout and following this strong rebound season.

“I never really put a limit on what I can accomplish,” the local product said.

From picking up the scoring slack created by Coby White’s injury absence to meeting coach Billy Donovan’s goal for shot creation by penetrating the paint area, Dosunmu keeps raising his potential ceiling.

“He’s been really good for us all season,” Nikola Vucevic said. “I think where he has taken a huge step is just being a little more patient with his decision-making in pick-and-roll, when he’s attacking. We all know he has the quickness and speed to beat other people off the dribble. But at times when the defense is set, especially when you’re the main handler like he was (Saturday) for us with Coby out, at times you have to take your time and make the reads. . . . I’ve been very impressed with his growth.”

Dosunmu hasn’t been---which is a big reason for his success.

“You always have room for growth,” he said.

Along those lines, Dosunmu thinks he can be an even more potent scorer if he gets to the free-throw line more and improves his opportunities off the dribble and in pick-and-roll.

“I always try to be in attack mode,” he said. “That’s the growth in my game. Not playing timid, always attacking, whether it’s attacking and keeping my dribble and kicking it out or attacking to score or attacking to get Vooch a shot. I think the most dangerous player to guard is someone who is always in attack mode.”

Which Dosunmu wasn’t in as consistently last season.

“I knew I wasn’t the player I wanted to be,” he said. “I understood to get better was going to take a lot of time and a lot of work.”

That’s Dosunmu’s approach after good games as well. He’ll react to his Saturday masterpiece the same way he did following what he termed a dud in Thursday’s loss to the Clippers---with film work, introspection and mental preparation.

“Coby does a great job of not only getting into the paint to score but getting into the paint to create closeouts. So with him being out, of course that’s something that we need, trying to create closeouts for others. I think I did a poor job of that in the Clippers game,” Dosunmu said. “But it’s a learning situation. I watched a lot of film and I tried to live in the paint.”

Dosunmu scored 18 of his 34 points in the paint and dished several of his assists from there as well.

But he’s not satisfied.

“I always have ways to get better,” he said.

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