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Illinois fans took advantage of their opportunity to vent in today's basketball chat with beat writer Scott Richey. There were common themes like "What is John Groce's future?" and "Why is Alex Austin playing so much?"

There was enough doom and gloom that Thursday's game at Michigan State barely received notice at all even though the Illini own a two-game winning streak at the Breslin Center. But playing without key contributors like Mike Thorne Jr., Leron Black and Khalid Lewis at the start of Big Ten play, not to mention the season-long absence of Tracy Abrams, have Illinois fans feeling a bit glum.

Here's a sampling of today's chat:

Do you agree that after four years of this slippery slope to mediocrity that it is time for a drastic change?

Could the argument be made that it's time for a change at Illinois basketball-wise? Yes. In the "What have you done for me lately?" era of college athletics where coaches have a limited window to succeed, going from the NCAA tournament to two years of NIT and now maybe not even that this season hits the criteria for change.

Do I think change will come? No. For a couple reasons. Who knows what this season would look like or how the fans would be feeling had Abrams, Thorne and Black been available all year? Also, with no athletic director in place yet, who's going to make the decision about possible change? The longer Illinois goes without an AD, the surer of a thing it is John Groce returns next season.

Check out the entire chat here.

If there's been enough gloom in your Wednesday, here's three items to serve as an alternative:

— Illini facing tall task next two games

— Memorable OT games involving the Illini

— Breakdown of Scott Richey's NCAA tournament seeds