Last night, the Illinois Fighting Illini lost their first game of the season to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 67-64 in Atlanta, Georgia. Here are Studs and Duds, which features players who had positive and negative impact on the game.
1. Rayvonte Rice - On the night after the Big Ten named his the Player of the Week for his performances against UNLV and IPFW, Rice went out on Tuesday and threw down a team-high 25 points in the loss to Georgia Tech. He did that by making just over half of his shots (8-of-15 from the field) and made 5-of-7 free throws. Also, Rice played great defense as he blocked two shots and grabbed two steals. The only thing that wasn’t hot was his three point shooting where he went 3-of-9 in the game.
2. Jon Ekey - After coming to the team officially in June, Jon Ekey has been a leader on this Illini team (voted a team captain by the players). On Tuesday night, he led the team by hauling in a total of nine rebounds. He also helped the team out defensively with a block in the game. However, Ekey had a poor offensive night. He went 2-of-6 from the field and only scored five points. On top of that, he got into some foul trouble with four personal fouls in the game.
3. Joseph Bertrand - Although he only scored ten points in the game, senior Joseph Bertrand had a solid night in the loss to Georgia Tech. He hit 50% of his shots and went 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. He also grabbed himself six total rebounds in the game and stayed out of foul trouble. The only bad thing that happened to Bertrand was the missed three at the end of the game.
1. Nnanna Egwu - Tuesday night could be seen as a night to forget for Illini center Nnanna Egwu. Egwu went 4-of-11 and scored only nine points in the game. On the boards, he only mustered up four total rebounds which is his worst total since the UNLV game. If that wasn’t enough, Nnanna also turned the ball over three times and racked up four fouls in the game. His only bright spot was his two blocks on the defensive end for the Illini.
2. Tracy Abrams - Abrams was another Illini starter who didn’t get things going against the Yellow Jackets on Tuesday. Although he went made five free throws, Abrams went 1-of-7 from the field and missed all three of his 3-pointers in the game. He also only grabbed two boards and turned the ball over a total of three times. He finished the game with seven points.
3. Jaylon Tate - It could be seen as “rough” to pick on a freshman for poor play, but freshman Jaylon Tate didn’t play particularly well against GT on Tuesday. In 14 minutes off the bench (most bench minutes of any Illini), he only took one shot (missed it) and grabbed only two rebounds. The one bright spot for Tate was that he played a the role of facilitor as he led the team with five assists off the bench.
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