Beat writer Paul Klee is analyzing 18 candidates for the Illinois basketball job — one every hour.
Alabama head coach
Why he fits: Won three conference titles and two conference tournaments in three seasons at VCU. In that respect, Grant was Shaka Smart before Shaka Smart was Shaka Smart. ... Led Alabama (21-11) to a No. 9 seed in this year's NCAA tournament. ... A forward in college, helped Dayton to Elite Eight berth in 1984. As a senior was named named Flyers' Team MVP ... Sources say his circle has expressed interest in Illinois job on his behalf. ... Recruiting prowess led to nation's No. 5 recruiting class (Rivals.com) at Alabama. ... Spent 10 years working on Billy Donovan's staff at Florida. Helped land 2004 recruiting class that paved way to back-to-back NCAA titles. ... Reputed as top-notch coach of big men, working with future pros Joakim Noah and Al Horford, among others. ... Developed a pair of lightly recruited players into NBA draft picks at VCU (Eric Maynor, Larry Sanders).
Why he doesn't: Current contract reportedly is worth over $1.8 million annually. ... Doesn't have Chicago ties that city coaches cry is necessary, even if staff could reflect those ties (re: He could hire an assistant or two with those Chicago ties). ... Inherited an Alabama program that had reached NCAA tournament or NIT in seven of nine previous seasons. ... Some insiders view Alabama-to-Illinois as lateral move.