Illinois Fighting Illini shooting guard Aaron Cosby tore his left retina during the Indiana game last Sunday. This news comes to us via a tweet from the basketball team's official Twitter account. Cosby hasn't played up to his potential this season, but this is yet another shot to the depth of an already-depleted Illini team.
#Illini will be without starting guard Aaron Cosby in tonight's game vs. Purdue. pic.twitter.com/z8l5qIGOz7— Illinois Basketball (@IlliniHoops) January 22, 2015
There are myriad possible line-up changes for Groce to make without Cosby's minutes. Expect one of two options for the starting line-up against Purdue and beyond: the first requires Kendrick Nunn to start at the two and likely Malcolm Hill to start at the three in a bigger-than-usual line-up for the Illini. This would require Leron Black to start at the four. Nunn has been on fire as of late, but it'll be interesting to see Hill's ability to play the three, especially given whatever recent injury from which he appears to be suffering.
It's also possible we could see line-ups with Tate at the one and Starks at the two, allowing Nunn and Hill to play the three and four. This line-up is probably too small to play heavy minutes against a big squad like Purdue's, but it could be used in small stretches until Cosby is able to return. It would seem that Rayvonte Rice and Aaron Cosby will probably return around the same time, after which Illinois will be making a final run at the tournament down the stretch.
Aaron Cosby was shooting under 30 percent from the field and averaging fewer than eight points per game, but his presence and ability to (occasionally) get hot from the three-point line will be missed.
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