Illinois guard Tracy Abrams drives the ball in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Indiana in the first round of the Big Ten Conference tournament Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
Kiichiro Sato
September 11, 2014
Illinois guard Tracy Abrams drives the ball in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Indiana in the first round of the Big Ten Conference tournament Thursday, March 13, 2014, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
Kiichiro Sato

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Illinois starting point guard Tracy Abrams is out for the season with an anterior cruciate ligament tear, coach Jon Groce confirmed Thursday.

Abrams tore the ACL in his right knee during preseason practice. Surgery hasn't yet been scheduled on the senior.

''Tracy worked hard in the offseason to put himself in great position heading into his senior year, so he's obviously disappointed and we are for him as well,'' Groce said. ''But Tracy personifies toughness; he has the heart of a champion and I know that he will only come back stronger from this experience when he returns to the court next year.''

Abrams will redshirt this season, according to the school.

Abrams started all 35 games for the Illini (20-15) last season. He was second on the team in scoring with 10.7 points a game. He also averaged 3.2 assists while playing 30.1 minutes a game and handling the bulk of Illinois' point guard duties.

The team is deep at guard, though most of those players have little experience playing point guard in college.

Senior Ahmad Starks, who sat out last season under NCAA rules after transferring from Oregon State, was a regular starter in his sophomore and junior seasons for the Beavers and is the most experienced of those on the roster.

Other backcourt players who could see more time at the point in Abrams' absence include sophomores Jaylon Tate and Kendrick Nunn and senior Rayvonte Rice.

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