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