Seton Hall's Cosby to transfer to Illinois or Missouri

Seton Hall sophomore guard Aaron Cosby didn't realize when he narrowed his list of schools to transfer to that his final choices -- Illinois and Missouri -- were rivals.

"I didn't even know until I was on Twitter," Cosby said by phone Wednesday. "Fans from both schools were talking about each other. I asked if this was some sort of rivalry, then I found out they play every year. I had no idea. I didn't do it on purpose."

Needless to say, Cosby will soon be adding another piece of drama to the annual Illinois-Missouri Braggin' Rights Game. He'll be eligible to play in his first one in the 2014-2015 season after he sits out next season.

Cosby will visit both schools in the coming days. He flies to Illinois on Thursday and will stay there until Saturday. On Saturday, he'll travel to Missouri and depart there on Monday. He plans to make his decision next week.

What the winning school will get is a 6-foot-3, 190-pound combo guard who started 58 games for Seton Hall in his first two seasons. He averaged 12.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 rebounds as a sophomore. He also shot 42.6 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-pointer range and 75.2 percent from the free-throw line.

Cosby could see himself playing for either program.

"With Illinois, I like coach [John] Groce," said Cosby, who is from Louisville, Ky. "He had offered me when he was at Ohio. I've known him since then. I like how he coaches and his playing style. I like what he's done at Illinois. They had a great year. They exceeded expectations."

Cosby also has a list of positives for Missouri.

"Missouri is kind of the same thing," Cosby said. "They have an up-tempo style of play. Coach [Frank] Haith really took charge of the recruiting. He made it clear he wants me, and that I will really fit well with his style."

Cosby wouldn't go into details why he was leaving Seton Hall, but he did explain he now understood what he sought in a college. Part of learning from his first recruiting process was setting up both visits consecutively, so he wouldn't allow his emotions to determine his decision.

"I know exactly what I want now," Cosby said. "Coming out of high school, I was a young kid. I was just so excited to play college basketball. I wanted to go where I was going to be on the floor. I didn't think about my whole career. Now I've been through the good times and bad times at college. I know now exactly what I want.

"I just want a situation where I'm going to have a relationship with the head coach, going to be in a winning situation and it helped that both schools aren't that far from home. I'm really happy with choosing between the two schools."

Missouri went 23-11 overall, 11-7 in the SEC and lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament last season. The Tigers defeated Illinois in the Braggin' Rights Game. Missouri will lose point guard Phil Pressey to the NBA and guard Keion Bell to graduation.

Illinois went 23-13 overall, 8-10 in the Big Ten and reached the third round of the NCAA tournament last season. It graduates starting guards Brandon Paul and D.J. Richardson.