More bad news struck the Illini less than an hour before their tilt with the Penn State Nittnay Lions. Guards Aaron Cosby and Rayvonte Rice have been suspended for a violation of team rules according to Coach John Groce.
Aaron Cosby and Rayvonte Rice have been suspended, according to #Illini release.
— Marcus Jackson (@MarcusJ_NG) January 31, 2015
Rice has not played since the Ohio State game and Cosby played last against Indiana. Both were expected to be returning sometime soon and many expected Cosby to play today.
"Hopefully they will make better choices and make the necessary progress to rejoin our lineup." - Groce on Cosby and Rice — Jeremy Werner (@WernerESPNCU) January 31, 2015
I am hoping this is more of a "they didn't work out when they had injuries and aren't ready to play" thing. Anything more serious would be very bad for the already down Illini.
Groce might be trying to send a statement with this. He could've tried to keep all of this internal, said Cos & Rice weren't ready to play.— Jeremy Werner (@WernerESPNCU) January 31, 2015
So what does this mean for the team right now?
Well it looks like they are going to have to play with a seven man rotation. Hopefully the week off let them get their legs back a little bit. A loss to Penn State or Rutgers would hurt a lot so the Illini are going to need everyone until Cosby and Rice are able to come back.
RT if you love this 6 man rotation strategy FAV if you're just crying at this point
— The Champaign Room (@Champaign_Room) January 31, 2015
UPDATE: Looks like I was wrong:
I was wondering when the news would hit. Look for Rice and Cosby to miss a minimum 2 games.
— Jason Thompson (@jthompson247) January 31, 2015