Home > Illinois basketball > Jereme Richmond won’t let shoulder injury slow him down

Jereme Richmond won’t let shoulder injury slow him down

Illinois coach Bruce Weber said Tuesday that freshman Jereme Richmond is suffering through a sprained right shoulder, but the freshman forward said there’s no question he’ll play in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal against Michigan on Friday.

“I’m ready to go,” Richmond said.

Richmond has received treatment on the shoulder since first suffering the injury at Michigan State on Feb. 19. He re-aggravated the injury when he dove to the floor midway through the second half of Saturday’s win against Indiana. Weber said after the game that Richmond could’ve re-entered the game but that there was no sense in doing so with a double-digit lead over the Hoosiers.

The freshman cheered during the game from the sideline and clapped for his teammates during senior day ceremonies following the final buzzer.

“He didn’t really pop it out,” Weber said. “(Illinois trainer) Al (Martindale) just kind of describes it he has loose ligaments, a loose shoulder, a sprained shoulder. I just think every time he’s gotten hit or lands on it, it bothers him.

“He’s just got to make a commitment to therapy and putting time to it. Hopefully he can be committed to it because we don’t need him just for one half or two halves but hopefully for three days. He can do things a lot of our guys can’t do.”

Richmond, selected to the All-Big Ten Freshmen Team, hasn’t put up huge numbers of late but continues to be one of the Illini’s most versatile players. He’s averaging 7.7 points and 5.3 rebounds during Big Ten play and leads the Illini in field-goal percentage (60.4 percent) in conference games.

Friday’s matchup between the fifth-seeded Illini and fourth-seeded Wolverines marks the first postseason game of Richmond’s collegiate career.

The competitive freshman wouldn’t miss it because of a sore shoulder.

“It’s going to be intense,” Richmond said. “You look at postseasons in an NBA game and things like that, everybody’s level of play definitely goes up a notch or two.”

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Categories: Illinois basketball
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