Illinois Coaching Search: With Smart Out, Illini Turn To Plan B

With Shaka Smart, the Illinois Fighting Illini's first choice to be their next head coach, officially rebuffing the school and Butler's Brad Stevens shutting down speculation before it ever got started, the Illinois braintrust is now turning to Plan B, according to Shannon Ryan of the Chicago Tribune.

High athletic director Mike Thomas' list, according to Ryan, is Ohio Bobcats coach John Groce, who led the Bobcats to the Sweet 16 this season. Other names mentioned by Ryan include Stanford Cardinal coach Johnny Dawkins, Duke assistant and ex-Oklahoma Sooners coach Jeff Capel and Wichita State Shockers coach Gregg Marshall. Ryan also reports that Florida State Seminoles head coach Leonard Hamilton and Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Anthony Grant remain interested, but Hamilton may be too old for the Illini (or may merely be using the school as leverage for a raise), and Grant possibly too expensive.

For more on this story, stay with SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Illini check out Hail to the Orange. For more news and notes around the country, stick with SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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