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(WSCR) The drama surround Illinois’ coaching search has finally settled down.
From Shaka Smart to Brad Stevens, the Illini finally landed Ohio University’s John Groce. While there has been speculation Groce would struggle to recruit out of Chicago, the new coach said recruiting out of Chicago will be a key aspect to his program.
“Recruiting is different everywhere,” Groce told The Mully and Hanley Show. “There are different dynamics in every city. I think Chicago has great coaches around those kids. I’m looking forward to getting to know some of them better – some of them, I already know well – and continuing to cultivate some of those relationships. That’s going to be an important area for us. We’ be foolish to neglect it. It’s two and a half hours from here, and Illinois has certainly had some success in the past.”
LISTEN: John Groce on The Mully and Hanley Show
Illini Nation is growing tired of sub-par seasons and missed NCAA Tournaments. Since Illinois missed out on Smart and Stevens, expectations for Groce couldn’t be higher.
“Obviously, there are expectations here,” Groce said. “I knew that when I took the job. It’s one of the things that I like about it. For me, I’m one of those guys that worries about controlling what I can control. Some of those things I can’t control, but we can control how hard we’re working every day and the effort and attitude that our kids have, and the culture we create inside our program. That’s what I’m most concerned about.”