It was about this time a year ago that Jaylon Tate began turning the corner and contributing to Simeon's success.
He's come so far since that a 14-point, nine-assist showing in the second round of the Public League playoffs was met with criticism from his coach.
"Too many turnovers," Robert Smith said while opening the locker room door to beckon Tate. "Hey, Jaylon, are you sitting there counting your turnovers?"
To be fair, most of them came late in Wednesday's game, after the Illinois-bound Tate played a sparkling first half as the No. 1 Wolverines built a 23-point lead en route to a 74-50 victory over Harlan.
Russell Woods had game-highs of 15 points and 12 rebounds, Jabari Parker scored 14 and Tate had 11 points, five assists and just one turnover in the first half to stake the defending city and state champs to a 45-22 lead.
Simeon (22-2) will face Bogan, a 73-57 winner over Hyde Park, in a quarterfinal at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Chicago State.
"There is always room for improvement," Tate said. "I'm never satisfied with a game. I always feel like I could have done more. I get down on myself about that. As a team, we just didn't have the intensity. It's a good win, but we didn't play like we should have."
That was true of Tate most of last season.
A highly touted prospect when he transferred from De La Salle to Simeon following his sophomore year, Tate was a nonfactor most of last season as he adjusted to the demands Smith places on his point guards.
His recruitment slowed down, allowing Illinois to swoop in following a strong showing on the summer AAU circuit. He has been a different player for Simeon this season.
"Confidence is probably the main thing," Tate said.
Player of the game: Jaylon Tate, Simeon, 14 points, 9 assists, 2 steals.
Key performers: Simeon — Russell Woods, 15 points, 12 rebounds; Jabari Parker, 14 points, 9 rebounds. Harlan — Aquanis Connors, 14 points.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times