In addition to his career-high scoring performance, Tate also had eight assists and just one turnover in 25 minutes for the Illini.
“I knew when I first saw him during the summer, I knew how smart he was, his IQ is really high and the way he shares the ball,’’ said Egwu about Tate. “He has a great attitude. He always wants to learn, he wants to get better and he always wants to help everyone get better.’’
And Tate’s play was part of the reason that Illinois cut their turnovers down from 15 in the opener to just five on Sunday.
“I love the fact that we only had five turnovers,’’ Groce said. “But, we have another opportunity to get better on Wednesday.’’
Up next for the Fighting Illini is their third straight home game to start the season on Wednesday when Illinois will play Valparaiso in a 6:30 p.m. game at the State Farm Center.