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Illinois Basketball: Fighting Illini's Best Situational Lineups in 2013-14

Ryan CuriSenior Analyst IIJuly 26, 2016

Illinois Basketball: Fighting Illini's Best Situational Lineups in 2013-14

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    Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

    John Groce's Fighting Illini only have 10 eligible scholarship players on this season's roster, as transfers Ahmad Starks, Darius Paul and Aaron Cosby all must sit out due to NCAA regulations. Five of those 10 players are freshmen, so needless to say, there were plenty of question marks prior to this season.

    Some of those questions have been answered, though Illinois certainly lacks depth, despite all 10 players regularly seeing the floor. Their depth and freshmen playing time is more a matter of necessity than readiness from the youngsters. Still, Groce is determined to get the Illini back into the NCAA tournament. Listed below is each scholarship player, along with the number of situational lineups they are a part of.

    Rayvonte Rice: 4

    Jon Ekey: 4

    Tracy Abrams: 3

    Nnanna Egwu: 3

    Joseph Bertrand: 3

    Kendrick Nunn: 2

    Jaylon Tate: 2

    Malcolm Hill: 2

    Maverick Morgan: 1

    Austin Colbert: 1

Starting Lineup

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    Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

    PG: Tracy Abrams

    SG: Rayvonte Rice

    SF: Joseph Bertrand

    PF: Jon Ekey

    C: Nnanna Egwu

    After experimenting with several starting fives in 2012-13, Groce has become set on a starting group in his second season at Illinois. This starting five contains two juniors, one redshirt junior and two redshirt seniors, the team's most experienced and talented group. 

    Abrams and Egwu started last season, while Bertrand was the team's sixth man behind Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson on the wings. Rice and Ekey are both former Missouri Valley Conference standouts, as Rice transferred from Drake, while Ekey made the transition from nearby Illinois State.

Three-Point Lineup

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    Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Lineup

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    Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Big-Man Lineup

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    Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Small-Ball Lineup

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    Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

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