All Illini Sports Content

All Illini Sports Content

Ohio fighting for Groce

CHAMPAIGN (AP) — A spokesman for the University of Ohio says administrators there are trying to find money to give the school’s basketball coach a raise and keep him in Ohio. Coach John Groce is said to be the top target for Illinois’ coaching job.

Illini get their man: Bollant

CHAMPAIGN — Matt Bollant, who guided the Green Bay women's basketball team to a 31-2 record and into the second round of the NCAA tournament this season, is expected to be named the head coach at Illinois today, multiple sources told The News-Gazette.

Illini can't hold off Redbirds

NORMAL — Willie Argo and his Illinois teammates thought things were going their way in the first inning against Illinois State, but the Illini's fortunes changed quickly Tuesday.

Tate: Search spinning out of control

CHAMPAIGN — If we were fair, we'd give a new Illini basketball coach, whatever his name, a slap on the back.

If we had an ounce of respect for the process, we wouldn't bury the athletic director for making us wait until our fingernails are chewed down. But that's not the mind-set these days. Basketball is our passion, and we've taken a collective dive off the upper balcony.

What they're saying

Illinois' freshmen weighed in on the coaching search, casting their vote for interim coach Jerrance Howard, who appreciated the support. A look:

Tracy Abrams
Let J. Howard run the show

Nnanna Egwu
Last two workouts have been great with coach Howard. He would make a great head coach. They might as well make him our new head coach

Bollant making it big

Peter Bollant remembers sitting in the bleachers of a Winona, Minn., gym, watching his little brother Matt drop 37 points against a bunch of 9-year-olds. He recalls the chatter around him proclaiming the diminutive Matt Bollant as destined for greatness.

'No decision yet' on Illinois coach

CHAMPAIGN - Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas said today no decision has been made at this point regarding the next men's basketball coach.

Sources indicated earlier that a news conference would be held today. However, a university spokesman denied the report and said later there is no news conference scheduled today and one is unlikely for today.

Been down this road before

Updated: John Groce is the fourth men's basketball coach hired at Illinos since Lou Henson's long tenure ended in 1996. A look at the mood for each hire:

New coach: Lon Kruger

Previous job: Florida head coach

Date hired: March 21, 1996

Groce: Where does he fit in?

John Groce might have been mighty in the MAC but he will have some serious coaching competition in the Big Ten. Where the new guy in Champaign-Urbana will fit in ... for now:

1. Thad Matta, Ohio State Wonder what Illinois would be like had it hired him in '03

2. Tom Izzo, Michigan State Has taken Spartans to six Final Fours in 17 seasons

Tate: It's a reality check

Once you've flirted with Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson, it's hard to fall back on your hometown honey. The alternative to presumed perfection doesn't quite stack up.