The Illinois Fighting Illini officially hired former Ohio Bobcats coach John Groce last night, ending a very drawn out and at times publicly embarrassing coaching search. Groce may not have been Illinois' first choice, but he certainly seems like a good fit, given his pedigree. Word just came out that Groce will be introduced in Champaign this afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
It's official - we will have a press conference at 1 pm CT at @Assembly_Hall to introduce our new #Illini men's basketball coach.— Illinois Basketball (@IlliniHoops) March 29, 2012
With no seniors leaving from a team that nearly went to the Elite Eight, it's very possible Groce is leaving a superior team in the Bobcats for an inferior one in the Illini. Ohio should be ranked pre-season, Illinois won't be. But given the wealth of local talent at his disposal, and the hefty raise he received, Groce's decision to accept the Illini job is a no-brainer. If he wins in Champaign, no one will remember the long, strange process it took to get him here.
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