Illinois Coaching Search: 'Mutual Interest' Between John Groce And Illini, According To Report

After being rebuffed by VCU coach Shaka Smart, it appears as if the Illinois Fighting Illini are turning their attention to John Groce, the head coach of the Ohio Bobcats who just steered his team to an unlikely appearance in the Sweet 16. The Bobcats were an end-of-regulation free throw away from upsetting top-seeded North Carolina and advancing to the Elite Eight.

The Sporting News is reporting the Illini have approached Groce about the program's coaching vacancy and that there is 'mutual interest'.

Groce knows the Big Ten well after serving as an assistant at Ohio State from 2004-2008. Groce helped recruit future NBA first round draft picks Greg Oden, Mike Conley, and B.J. Mullens during his time in Columbus.

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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