Player of the game
Georgia Tech’s Robert Carter Jr.
Not only did the Yellow Jackets big man barely miss a double-double (21 points, nine boards), he was rock solid at the free throw line. His 7-of-8 effort on 15-footers helped Georgia Tech rally. Somewhere, Dennis Scott was smiling.
Illinois B+, Georgia Tech B
If not for the comeback by the Yellow Jackets, Rayvonte Rice was the player of the game. Again. Yes, doubters, the guy can play in the Big Ten. Put him on our early ballot for the all-league team. Marcus Georges-Hunt was the best hyphenated-named player on the court.
Illinois C-, Georgia Tech B-
Daniel Miller has started every game during his Georgia Tech career. We can see why now. The center hit a clutch shot to give the Yellow Jackets the lead. Illini needed Nnanna Egwu to avoid early foul trouble.
Illinois D+, Georgia Tech C-
With a heavy reliance on freshmen, there are going to be nights like this for the Illini reserves. One of the youngsters needs to become a consistent scoring threat to take some of the pressure off the starters.
Illinois C, Georgia Tech B
Illinois was up by double digits late. This could be the game the Illini look back on if they just miss the NCAA tournament cut. Or, it becomes a rallying point for a team trying to find itself. Let’s go with the latter. For now.