Gophers junior guard Payton Willis is sidelined for Thursday’s game at Illinois with a shoulder injury.
Willis, who suffered the injury in practice, averages 8.8 points and started 16 games this season for the Gophers. He will be replaced in the starting lineup by freshman Tre’ Williams.
The 6-foot-5 former Vanderbilt transfer already missed three games this season with an ankle injury, but returned to play in the Jan. 5 win against Northwestern at home.
In the last seven games, Willis was averaging 5.7 points and shooting just 24 percent from three-point range (9 for 37).
The Gophers have struggled shooting from three-point range in Big Ten play (28 percent). Willis and sophomore Gabe Kalscheur were the team's top shooters from beyond the arc earlier in the season.
Kalscheur snapped a five-game streak scoring under double figures with 28 points combined in his last two games, but he's shooting just 33 percent from three-point range this season.
Williams started four games this season, including three with Willis sidelined. He scored a career-best 11 points in the victory against the Wildcats.