2 transfers joining Illini basketball team
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Daily Herald News Services
CHAMPAIGN — Seton Hall guard Aaron Cosby and Illinois State forward Jon Ekey will transfer to Illinois following the completion of the spring semester, Illinois men's basketball coach John Groce announced Wednesday.
Cosby will sit out the upcoming season and have two years of eligibility remaining with the Illini for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Ekey will enroll as a graduate student and is eligible to compete during the 2013-14 season under the NCAA one-time transfer exception.
Cosby is a 6-3, 190-pound guard who started 27 of 31 games last season as a sophomore at Seton Hall, ranking second on the team in scoring with an average of 12.6 points. He shot 40 percent from 3-point range, connecting on 66-of-165 from behind the arc. Cosby's 3-point percentage was sixth among Big East players, while his average of 2.1 threes per game ranked seventh in the conference. He also was second on the Pirates in assists with a 3.0 average.
Cosby scored in double figures in 21 games, with six 20-plus point performances. He scored a career-high 25 points against Connecticut on Feb. 10, hitting 10-of-15 from the field, including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Cosby set a career high with five 3-pointers at Notre Dame on Jan. 5. Cosby is from Louisville, Ky. and played at duPont Manual and Jeffersontown High Schools before attending Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts as a senior.
"Aaron is versatile guard who impacts the game in a number of areas," Groce said. "He was a 40-percent 3-point shooter in the Big East, so he's obviously a tremendous shooter. But in addition to his shooting and scoring ability, he can handle the ball and make plays for others."
Ekey is a 6-7, 220-pound forward who started 18 of 33 games for the Redbirds last season, averaging 6.5 points and 4.2 rebounds. He scored in double figures in 10 games, led by a season-high 18 points versus Morgan State on Dec. 18.
A native of Independence, Mo., Ekey is a two-time All-Valley Scholar Athlete, earning second-team honors last season and first-team accolades in 2011-12. He will graduate from ISU in May with a bachelor's degree in business administration.
"Jon is a skilled forward," Groce said. "He has a high basketball IQ, is an exceptional shooter, and also defends, blocks shots and rebounds. Jon will make an immediate impact on our program by providing experience to a young roster."
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