The John Groce era is over at Illinois. Many felt this was a pivotal season for Groce, who was under pressure and scrutiny when the 2016-17 season dawned. Well, on Saturday, A.D. Josh Whitman made it official, firing the coach he inherited.
Each Monday morning during the Big Ten men’s basketball season, the 14 Big Ten men’s basketball coaches hold a Big Ten teleconference with reporters from around the country. We post the audio for each segment of the call here, and we do this every Monday afternoon. Listen to all 14 @B1GMBBall coaches on today's teleconference. #MarchOnBTN https://t.co/2J0BUhedFH — Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) March 2, 2015
Illinois is an intriguing team, returning all of its starters. And the Illini also have added two transfers in Ahmad Starks (Oregon State) and Aaron Cosby (Seton Hall) that John Groce says have made difference. But how will Illinois do without Tracy Abrams, who suffered a knee injury this fall that will force him to miss the season? “For us we’re going to be fine,” said Groce. “We’ve got Ahmad Starks who’s been terrific on the offensive end. He packs a big-time punch. Yesterday we scrimmaged and he probably had his best practice of his career at Illinois. We’ve got
Earlier this week, Illinois basketball coach John Groce participated as the “celebrity contestant” for the “Shoot the Puck” contest during intermission of the NHL game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks. Groce and Illinois are fresh off a 20-15 season and an NIT berth in his second season. Watch the video in this post to see how he did.
John Groce let us know how displeased he was with his team’s play following Wednesday night’s 66-58 loss to Purdue in Champaign. That anger came to a head on Saturday as Groce lost his cool late in the second half of Illinois’ 78-62 loss to Michigan State. https://twitter.com/BigTenNetwork/status/424762999962759168 Upset with the officiating, Groce ripped off his sport coat and threw it at his bench (see above), ultimately resulting in a technical foul. [ MORE: Richard Pitino tosses jacket, draws technical foul ] Shortly after that, Illinois was called for a foul on Denzel Valentine, and Groce had another outburst. The
After kicking off the Big Ten season with impressive wins over Indiana and Penn State, Illinois has now lost three straight, including Wednesday night’s 66-58 loss to Purdue in Champaign. Illinois coach John Groce addressed the media following the game and had some strong words, making it very clear how unhappy he was with his team’s performance. [ MORE: B1G Hoops Roundup: MSU, Purdue notch road wins ] “It’s just unacceptable,” Groce said following the loss. “They (Purdue) were tougher than us physically and they threw us around like a bunch of rag dolls. Our guys better figure out very
The new season of LiveBIG shows on BTN kicks off this week! Click here for the complete schedule. University of Illinois men’s basketball coach John Groce received an American flag from Air Force pilot Adam Hopkins before the Illini hosted Indiana last week. Read the incredible story about why Hopkins made the presentation to Groce here. President Obama recently honored University of Iowa researcher Randall McEntaffer with a Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). Read more here. We featured Budzien’s inspiring work with the Special Olympics in December. After the NHL’s Winter Classic at the Big House in
In John Groce’s first year at the helm of the Illini men’s basketball program, his team relied on the deep threat. And that mindset — 280 made three-point field goals — helped the Illini reach the second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament for the first time since 2011. But for two Champaign organizations, the Cunningham Children’s Home and the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, those three-point shots meant more than wins and losses. Each season, members the Orange Krush Foundation – the basketball student cheering section – pledge money for each three-point basket. The made three pointers last season amounted
Illinois is an interesting team with eight newcomers. Who will be a leader for a team coming off a 23-13 season that won a NCAA game? John Groce is looking to senior Joseph Bertrand, especially as a vocal leader. Among the new faces are three transfers from four-year schools: Rayvonte Rice (Drake); Jon Ekey (Illinois State); Ahmad Starks (Oregon State), though Starks was denied a waiver to play this season. “Rice had maybe the best year of guy who sat out a season that I have seen,” said Groce. “He improved his body and shooting. He has come a long
What has been anticipated for a few days became reality Thursday as Illinois named Ohio’s John Groce as its men’s basketball coach. Will it be a good hire? A bad hire? Who knows? It’s absurd to draw a conclusion on something like that on the day of an introductory press conference. But a few things are without dispute. No. 1: The hiring process has come under great scrutiny, as the search seemingly lingered as other targets rejected overtures from Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas. That has caused angst among many fans and media pundits, who feel it hasn’t been a