Chicago: Cruisin’ with a bruisin’

March 1, 2021
The GIST: Coming off strong conference wins and heading into another tough week of Big Ten opponents, the U of I’s men’s basketball team is prepping for the postseason, with or without their star, Ayo Donusonu (pronounced EYE-O DO-SOO-MOO).
Sports NewsBasketball
Chicago: Cruisin’ with a bruisin’
Source: David Berding/USA TODAY Sports

The win: The Big Ten Conference has amazing basketball, and this weekend we saw that on display when the No. 5 Illini took on the No. 23 Wisconsin Badgers. Center Kofi Cockburn led the team with 19 points, alongside André Curbelo with 17 and Da’Monte Williams with 12, in their gritty 74–69 win. Shooters gonna shoot.

  • This was an important win for the Illini to show they can hold it together without Donusonu, who had a triple-double in the team’s first win over the Badgers this season.

Looking ahead: After breaking his nose last week, Donusonu is out indefinitely. The junior guard is a critical member of the U of I’s squad, known as both the glue that holds the team together and the player who consistently executes in make-or-break moments. While the Illini have now shown they can beat good teams without Donusonu, the competition is only going to get tougher.

  • To close out the regular season, U of I will take on the No. 3-ranked Michigan Wolverines tomorrow, followed by the No. 4-ranked Ohio State on Saturday, before the championship season begins on March 10. Prayers up for Donusonu’s cartilage.