Sean Merriman, web editor, January 23, 2015

It is no secret that Illinois' men's basketball team has been hit with multiple injuries this season. After every injury, head coach John Groce has used the "next man up" mantra.

Well, that mantra took on a whole new meaning when Illinois student manager Ryan Schmidt was officially added to the men's basketball roster today.

Schmidt, who is in his fourth year as a team manager, will dress for the Fighting Illini when they travel to Minnesota on Saturday for a Big Ten clash.

Following injuries to Tracy Abrams, Rayvonte Rice and Aaron Cosby, Illinois is extremely thin when it comes to depth in the backcourt.

Check out the following tweet that Illinois' official men's basketball account, @IlliniHoops, sent out earlier this morning.

Schmidt grew up in Bloomington, Ill. The 6-0 guard played varsity basketball at Central Catholic High School.

Take a look at Schmidt's MaxPreps page. The popular high school sports site ranks Schmidt as the No. 217 prospect in the state of Illinois in 2011, as well as the 4,532 prospect in the nation.

Mark Morris, who is the Director of Basketball Operations at Illinois, posted the following photo of Schmidt, who was the first player out on the court at today's practice.

This is a great story. Well done, Illinois!

H/T: For The Win