Jon Ekey, a transfer from Illinois State, scored six points on the night with both of his shots coming from long range. Ekey will fill the role that Tyler Griffey had last season and Ekey’s body style and shooting touch are reminiscent of Griffey as well.
True freshmen Kendrick Nunn and Malcolm Hill both had impressive starts, each scoring six points. Maverick Morgan, who will spell Egwu at the center position, had a rough debut, but with some added practice, should be ready to go once the regular season begins.
Groce was impressed with what he saw, even though this was the first time that his team played in front of a crowd.
“I thought we did some good things, and I was especially pleased with the conditioning of the team,” Groce said of his team’s overall effort. “We still need to work on some things, and above all, we shared the ball and made some good decisions.”
The Fighting Illini will play the first of two exhibition games next Thursday, when they welcome Division II McKendree College to the State Farm Center. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Jim Cotter is a freelance writer for the Commercial-News, and can be reached for comment at email@example.com