Head coach John Groce singled out Tate after the game for his play, while filling in for the injured Tracy Abrams. Abrams was in-and-out of the game with back spasms; the junior only played 13 minutes.
The bulk of the playing time went to Tate, who scored six points on 3-7 FG, and he also dished out five assists.
"Jaylon was ready to go. He took the whole 'next man up' concept to another level. He did a great job being ready," Groce said of his freshman, who also committed three turnovers. "He made some good plays for us - learned a few freshman lessons there late in the game. Jaylon is a kid who cares a lot."
The always-humble Tate credited his teammates for putting him in position to succeed.
"I get a lot of confidence from my teammates, and they told me to just be aggressive and take what the defense gives you," Tate said. "It's a credit to them. I just made some plays."
Tate was one of the few playmakers for Illinois in Bloomington. The team shot only 33% from the field and scored only 46 points.
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