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Illinois Interested In Ohio's John Groce, According To Report

Ohio University men's basketball coach John Groce has emerged as a potential candidate for the head coaching position at Illinois, according to a report.

University of Illinois is interested in talking to Ohio's John Groce about its vacant head coaching position with the men's basketball program. The Fighting Illini have been rebuffed by a number of high-profile mid-major coaches this March, including VCU's Shaka Smart and Butler's Brad Stevens. Groce's name was thrown around as a potential candidate during the Bobcats magical run to the Sweet 16. Now, according to the AP, Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas has turned his eye towards pursuing Groce.

Via David Mercer of the Associated Press:

llinois is interested in talking to Ohio coach John Groce about replacing Bruce Weber, according to a person familiar with the search.

The person said Illinois turned its attention to Groce after Brad Stevens said Sunday he will remain at Butler. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Illini's search is ongoing.

Groce is no stranger to the Big Ten, having served under Thad Matta at Ohio State helping put together dynamite recruiting classes for the Buckeyes. Groce is sure to be a hot name in the NCAA basketball coaching carousel after his second impressive showing in March in the past three years.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.