Talen Horton-Tucker Leads Cyclones Past Illini 84-68 At Maui
The Illini men dropped another game at the Maui Invitational Tuesday night, this time to Iowa State. The final was 84-68.
Talen Horton-Tucker, a 17 year-old freshman from Chicago Simeon, scored 26 points, including 4-of-7 from three-point range, to lead the Cyclones.
Coach Brad Underwood, who recruited Horton-Tucker for Illinois, wasn't surprised by his success.
“He’s really good,” said Underwood. “Let’s give the young man credit. He’s a guy who’s going to have every opportunity to be freshman of the year in that league. 240 pounds --- he can relieve pressure from a ball-handling standpoint. And he’s physically strong enough to go battle on the glass and do those things. He was terrific tonight, knew he would be. That’s going to be an exciting team as they move forward.”
In addition to the scoring, Horton-Tucker grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds, and dished a game-high 6 assists.
Asked specifically about Horton-Tucker's game, Jordan declined to use his name, and rejected the notion that the game constituted a grudge match between feuding Chicago camps, sparked by the Illini coaching staff choosing fellow freshman Ayo Dosunmu and not signing Horton-Tucker.
“We didn’t stick to our defensive principles, deny on the wing,” said Jordan. “It’s a team effort, guarding anybody. It doesn’t matter whose name on the front of the jersey, name on the back of the journey. It’s a team effort.”
Trent Frazier led the Illini in scoring with 15. Dosunmu added 13, and Alan Griffin and Aaron Jordan both tallied 11.
Michael Jacobson added 23 points and 8 rebounds for the Cyclones, who improved to 4-1 on the season. The Illini are now 1-3.
The Illini have one more game in Maui. They'll play the Xavier Musketeers, coached by ex-Illini head coach John Groce's brother Travis Steele. That game tips Wednesday at 8 pm CT.