Illinois head coach John Groce has seen two of his guards sidelined with injuries this month, which has prompted the motto, “Next Man Up” for the Fighting Illini.
The next man in line is senior Ryan Schmidt, who until Friday was one of the student managers for the program. Groce announced the addition of the 6-foot guard, who will suit up on Saturday against Minnesota.
Schmidt has been with the program throughout his four years in Champaign after starring at Central Catholic High in Bloomington, Indiana.
The Fighting Illini has been without leading scorer Rayvonte Rice since Jan. 6, breaking a bone in his left hand. Last Saturday, Aaron Cosby suffered a retinal tear in his left eye in Illinois’ loss to Indiana. The original timetable for Rice’s return was 4-6 weeks while Cosby should be able to join the team in a week or two.
Illinois and Minnesota tip at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday. The Illini get a week-break following the Big Ten matchup.