Junior All-America candidate Ayo Dosunmu produced a career-high 28 points as No. 8 Illinois breezed to a 122-60 victory over North Carolina AT on Wednesday afternoon in both teams' season opener.
Shooting guard Adam Miller, the Big Ten's top-ranked recruit, set the Illinois record for most points in a freshman debut as the lefty drilled 6 of 8 3-point attempts on his way to 28 points. Sophomore 7-footer Kofi Cockburn added 18 points and 10 rebounds while Illinois set the single-game team record with 17 3-pointers. Dosunmu added 10 rebounds and five assists.
Junior guard Blake Harris paced North Carolina AT with 12 points. MEAC preseason player of the year Kameron Langley, the senior point guard who led the nation last year with 8.0 assists per game, was limited to 8 points and 4 assists in 32 minutes.
Illinois reeled off 24 points in a row to remove the suspense early. The Illini harassed the Aggies into 17 straight missed shots to build a 32-5 lead 12 minutes into the first game of the Illinois Multi-Team Event at Champaign, Ill.
Illinois shot just 31 percent on 3-pointers last season -- last in the Big Ten -- so North Carolina AT started in a zone designed to clamp down on Cockburn and force shots from the perimeter.
The Illini foiled that strategy by hitting 11 of 17 3-pointers during the first half.
Miller set up in the corner and sank two 3-pointers in the opening four minutes to trigger the onslaught. Dosunmu drilled three, senior swingman Da'Monte Williams hit two and Holy Cross transfer Jacob Grandison (10 points, 8 rebounds) flushed his first 3-point try in an Illinois uniform before Miller added three more 3s in the final three minutes of the half.
Just in case the Aggies had any design on a second-half rally, Dosunmu reeled off 10 points in 56 seconds -- swishing a pair of high-arching 3-pointers before added a pair of driving layups -- to give Illinois a 75-27 lead with 16:48 to go.
The Illini cracked the 100-point barrier on a Cockburn free throw with 9:24 to go but wound up five points shy of the single-game scoring record as head coach Brad Underwood substituted liberally the rest of the way.
--Field Level Media