Meet the candidates: John Groce
Beat writer Paul Klee is analyzing 18 candidates for the Illinois basketball job — one every hour.
Ohio University head coach
Why he fits: Toss out the black/white coach dynamic, former Ohio State assistant might be a leading candidate. ... Ohio entered NCAA tournament with school-record 27 wins and second MAC tournament title in Groce's four years. ... Comes from same Butler-Xavier-Ohio State pipeline as Thad Matta, albeit as an assistant (on season at Butler, three at Xavier, four at Ohio State). ... Carried title of associate head coach under Matta at Ohio State. ... Key recruiter on Mike Conley Jr., Daequan Cook and Greg Oden at Ohio State ... Illinois AD Mike Thomas has history of hiring coaches from MAC. ... Style of play is a plus; Ohio led MAC in scoring and turnover margin. ... Illinois would be significant pay raise. Base salary at Ohio reportedly is around $250,000.
Why he doesn't: There is pressure from within university to hire black coach. ... Unproven as head coach past the MAC level. ... High-energy sideline behavior could upset those pining for calm. ... Nebraska has eyes on hiring Groce to replace Doc Sadler.