Standing Shoulder to Shoulder

CHAMPAIGN - Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate seemingly do everything together.

The Simeon duo constantly interact on Twitter. The two signed to play for Illinois together in November. They play high school basketball together. And Sunday they traveled to Champaign to watch Illinois play Michigan.

Even though the Illini lost, Nunn and Tate were feeling good about their high school team's huge win against Whitney Young the night before.

"Overall it was a good win for our team and for the Simeon program," Tate said. "It was a big win, we've had a slow start to the year so far, and in my performance overall, I just had to step up."

And stepping up is just what he did, finishing the game on 4-of-4 shooting in the second half. With Simeon's Jabari Parker having an off game, it was up to Tate and Nunn to take over and lead the team to win. Coming through in the clutch is something that the duo will bring to the Assembly Hall next season.

"I'll bring leadership, and that winning mentality," Tate said. "Playing my style of ball, being a distributor, but still scoring when needed."

The two Simeon stars have been playing together for years now and that solid friendship carries over to their style of play. Nunn states that their chemistry is seen both on and off the court, and they have the ability to communicate very effectively.

They are also trying to gain a solid relationship with another Illinois commit: 2014 forward Michael Finke.

"We all have gotten closer since everybody has committed," Tate said. "We've all exchanged numbers and talked, so we're all starting to get a bond. We're just looking forward to getting better, and playing with each other."

Tate and Nunn are also looking forward to being on campus and getting to know their student peers. Nunn says Illini Nation shows him a lot of love on Twitter, and really boosts his confidence before games. During halftime, the duo went to get popcorn and gladly stopped for pictures whenever a person asked.

Tate's final comment of the evening: "I just want to get down here, I can't wait. Go Illini."

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