no deal yet, but sides are negotiating and there's obviously mutual interest. i don't think he makes them any better than weber.
ESPN sources - OHIO coach Groce Illini's top target, negotiations ongoing
Top target after Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens turned them down. They shoukld have went after Frank Martin.
From what I've read, Martin has a good relationship with a lot of south Florida high school coaches. Not sure if he'd go to Illinois, but hey, he did go to an SEC bottom feeder.
If he had been considering Illinois, he would have to go up against some of the best coaches in the country (Beilein, Crean, Izzo, Matta, Tubby, Painter, Ryan) and some very strong programs. By choosing to coach in the SEC, Martin only has to compete with two top programs: Kentucky and Florida. I think he has the potential for more success by going to South Carolina.
In BBall, it's so hard to really judge coaches, especially in college. If you get one great player, a mid-major team can be really great, but is the success of that coach dependent on that great player? Not really saying anything about Groce one way or the other, but just asking did he build a program at Ohio? Brad Stevens and Smart are top young coaches...Just not sure on Groce.
I think they overreached in trying to land Shaka or Brad Stevens. Illinois is a top 10-ish job for sure, but those guys are superstars who won't budge for anything less than a job at one of the super-elite programs like Duke, UNC, Kentucky, UCLA, Kansas, UConn, et al. The UCLA and UConn jobs could be opening up soon, so it's possible that they're holding out.
Times are a'changin. I wouldn't be surprised to see Shaka stay for years and years at VCU, Stevens at Butler, etc. etc.
It used to be that coaches at small schools got paid crap, and the only way to make a REAL living was to go to a big program. Money talks. Plus, TV being what it was, smaller schools got no exposure, except in the tournament.
But now... look at Few at Gonzaga; or in football, Pedersen at BSU, Patterson at TCU, etc. The thing is, at "smaller" schools, you can STILL make a 7-digit figure and, living in smaller towns, live like a king. Be the BMOC. Have a less-difficult conference you can rule. Get on TV plenty of times.
Not everyone wants the stress of the Kentucky job -- e.g., Tubby. Only a very very very few people have the DNA to deal with jobs like UK, KU, Indiana, etc. If you can be very successful at VCU, still make good coin, and live well with less stress -- why not stay there?
Compensation numbers of debatable accuracy:
It was going to cost Illinois a ton to get either coach (it's rumored that Illinois offered at least 2M/year to both Smart and Stevens, and neither was enough). The little schools are already paying life-altering amounts of cash, and this is testing the major programs' long-running ability to buy whomever they want.
There is still alot of talent on Illinois, and their 2013 class is pretty good and will be very good if the new coach can get Jabari Parker on board. So as long as he can get more out of his players than Weber did, I don't see how Groce wouldn't be successful early at Illinois.
An uberrecruit from Chicago? I bet he ends up with Calipari.
I will be the first to admit that I am not super familiar with his recruitment, but from what I have read from a MSU and a Duke poster on another board, It is between MSU, Duke, UNC, DEPAUL, and possibly Illinois depending on the coach. I could be wrong or mis-relaying info, but that's what I have heard (I think)
I like Groce to Illinois. IMO Smart was smart to say (no pun intended)...I thought Stevens should've taken the job though. If he has another average year, his sizzle is going to be gone and he's going to be lucky to get a Illinois-level job.
Smart can have a below average year ala Butler this year and still land a major job a year from now.
With that said, I think he stays at VCU and keeps it in contention until an ACC job opens up. Maybe Leonard Hamilton at FSU leaves, or UVA struggles and their coach is fired. Seth Greenberg at Va Tech could be out soon. I think Smart could end up at any of those schools. I don't know the situation at Wake or Georgia Tech, but those can be on the list as well.
Illinois can't afford to let this go pass Groce. They could end up reaching big time or overpaying for a coach like the guy at Cincinnati (Illinois new AD came from Cincy).
Stevens doesn't have to prove anything since he took BUTLER to back to back Final fours (2009-2011) and being 2 points away from winning a National Championship against Duke. That is better then what Smart has done. At these small schools, it is incredibly difficult to make the tourney year in and year out (Gonzaga being the notable exception).
What I was saying is that if he misses this tournament again I think his "buzz" is going to really fade away.
I wasn't saying what he did was better or worse than Smart.
The point was that we live in a "what have you done lately" type world. And even with Stevens' accomplishments, I don't think he'll get a better job than Illinois if Butler doesn't play well this year.
VCU on the other hand is the "new" Butler...in terms of the "buzz" Smart is the new hot mid-major hot coach that Mark Few and Brad Stevens have been.
If Roy Williams retired today, I'm willing to bet, Shaka Smart would be the hotter name over Stevens, despite Stevens accomplishing more.
That's all I was saying. I think you completely missed the point.
I did. Thanks for elaborating.
Fun to watch the Chicago media's reaction to the concept that Illinois, in both football and basketball, is not an elite program. It's almost as if they can't believe Illinois has to stoop so low for MAC coaches.
Illini Athletic Department is a mess right now... and both coaching searches (but especially basketball) show that to be fact.
Lets not be so quick to judge. Afterall, we were going crazy when Michigan hired that two bit nobody, Brady Hoke, from some MWC conference after whiffing on our first two choices...
you know what they say, people in glass houses sink ships.
Most Michigan fans did not melt down when Hoke was hired. It was really just this website that did. Hoke had me from the initial press conference and most fans I've talked to have said likewise.
Well it didn't help that the leaders of this board were some of the biggest skeptics until basically the Nebraska game where it was pretty clear we were for real and we had a good recruiting class to go along with the solid year.
that's an unfair thing to say. i believe most people were upset with how the previous coach had been treated. they were not ready for the way dave brandon handled the coaching search. EVERYBODY supported brady hoke and his staff. EVERYBODY supported the team. i don't think there was ever a moment that anyone on this board (frenemy posters like Irish, etc excluded) wished Brady Hoke ill.
Not biggest critics. And I think the change in staff altered some of the overall viewpoint. I think Tim was much more in lockstep with Brian than Ace or Heiko. (Maybe not by design just as much as philosophy). But I also think you're right when regard to the Blog everyone supported the team (players specifically; coaches mostly; Athletic department...where warranted).
Though if you want to talk BOARD, I think there was a very small minority who would rather have seen a flameout, and harp on every little faux pas, just to make the previous regime look good (and more importantly I'd guess, make them look right). There might even be one or two holdovers still. You can probably guess who.
I have the misfortune of being an Illinois alum (law school) as well as a UM grad and thus feeling obligated to keep an eye on U of I athletics. Let me tell you, the message board at Illinois Loyalty is in full-on meltdown. The thread on the coaching search is at 12,000 comments. The latest news is that the Groce hire is on hold and may be blown up because someone on the Board of Trustees wants the job to go to Craig Robinson from Oregon State. If This Week in Schadenfreude wanted to do college hoops, this one would be a gold mine.
repeat post -- oops.
to find a different disparaging reference to OSU. How about "State", since the other State is now little brother?
I think Groce would be a good hire for them. He's different from Weber in that he's known as a strong recruiter. I'm not sure why they're melting down over the possibility of getting him.
A source close to Illini AD Mike Thomas has indicated that Thomas has been a bit confused when discussing the coaching search, specifically in regard to Ohio.
Word is that he isn't sure if he's getting the Ohio State coach or the Ohio coach.
But, the source added, Thomas just shrugged his shoulders and said, "What the hell, they both made the tourney and we didn't, so who cares which one we get".
Illinois is a cesspool. They want to be at the top of the Big Ten, which is nice, but they don't seem to have the resources or committment at the top to do anything.
The pattern is familiar there in football and basketball: new coach elevates program, has one or two bad years, fans piss and moan, coach gets fired. Bill Self knew exactly what he was doing when he left them for Kansas.
Illinois is a great job for some guy in his 60's looking for a few more paychecks before packing it in, but it can too easily stall the career of an "up-and-comer." I hope Groce waits for something better. It's not like anyone is ever going to get the benefit of the doubt that Lou Henson got.