Illinois may have just caught a break ahead of their matchup with Indiana. According to reports, sophomore guard Robert Johnson will be sidelined for the Hoosiers with an ankle injury.
Robert Johnson will not play tomorrow night at Illinois (left ankle sprain). #iubb— Justin Albers (@Justin_Albers) February 24, 2016
Big news: Robert Johnson won't play tomorrow against Illinois, per a report. https://t.co/g6g8LdysQH— Crimson Quarry (@crimsonquarry) February 24, 2016
Johnson is averaging 8.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game for the Hoosiers this season. The six-foot-three guard is also shooting 43.6% from behind the three-point arch, so this is particularly good news for an Illinois team that's struggled to defend those shots all year.
Illinois native Nick Ziesloft will likely replace Johnson in the starting lineup; the senior is averaging 6.3 points and 1.6 rebounds in 18.1 minutes per game this year.
The Fighting Illini (12-15, 4-10) will battle first-place Indiana (22-6, 12-3) in Champaign at 8:00pm CT on Thursday night. The game will be televised on ESPN. The two teams previously played each other back in January; the Hoosiers absolutely dominated Illinois in Bloomington, winning by a final score of 103-69.