Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby kaskomm09 » 22 Mar 2012, 11:27

JichaelDick wrote:BTW, what's the word on Colonel Angus' all-time favorite player, Chris Collins? To me, it'd be a terrible hire, as the Krzyzewski coaching tree is, by and large, awful(Brey is the only semi-consistent winner in that group and he's made all of ONE Sweet 16 and Amaker has done well at Harvard after struggling at Michigan). However, there are some folks on Twitter (Dookie Seth Davis the chief one) beating the drum for him.


This would be one of the hires that I'd absolutely hate. To me, it's a lose-lose situation. Either (a) he falls flat on his face and the program wallows some more in mediocrity (or worse) or (b) he's successful and then becomes a top candidate to move right back over to Duke in the near-future once Coach K has a down year or two and he needs to retire due to his "back".

On top of that:
(1) The Coach K tree has been pretty wildly unsuccessful as a whole
(2) No HC experience
(3) I don't buy the connections in Chicago on him. He's from Northbrook and they haven't pulled an actual Chicago kid in quite some time (Sean Dockery maybe?).
(4) He turned down Illinois in favor of Duke as a player out of high school, so I'm hesitant to have him selling kids on that exact same decision 20 years later

I think the only other hire I'd outright hate and am baffled people even suggest is Scott Drew. That dude has sanctions written all over him.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby Bricks » 22 Mar 2012, 11:30

kaskomm09 wrote:
JichaelDick wrote:BTW, what's the word on Colonel Angus' all-time favorite player, Chris Collins? To me, it'd be a terrible hire, as the Krzyzewski coaching tree is, by and large, awful(Brey is the only semi-consistent winner in that group and he's made all of ONE Sweet 16 and Amaker has done well at Harvard after struggling at Michigan). However, there are some folks on Twitter (Dookie Seth Davis the chief one) beating the drum for him.


This would be one of the hires that I'd absolutely hate. To me, it's a lose-lose situation. Either (a) he falls flat on his face and the program wallows some more in mediocrity (or worse) or (b) he's successful and then becomes a top candidate to move right back over to Duke in the near-future once Coach K has a down year or two and he needs to retire due to his "back".

On top of that:
(1) The Coach K tree has been pretty wildly unsuccessful as a whole
(2) No HC experience
(3) I don't buy the connections in Chicago on him. He's from Northbrook and they haven't pulled an actual Chicago kid in quite some time (Sean Dockery maybe?).
(4) He turned down Illinois in favor of Duke as a player out of high school, so I'm hesitant to have him selling kids on that exact same decision 20 years later

I think the only other hire I'd outright hate and am baffled people even suggest is Scott Drew. That dude has sanctions written all over him.


Lots of dudes want to live in Waco, Texas and play in a program most famous for a player murdering his teammate.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby TVF wannabe » 22 Mar 2012, 12:01

(4) He turned down Illinois in favor of Duke as a player out of high school, so I'm hesitant to have him selling kids on that exact same decision 20 years later


I don't think that's a sticking point, they aren't comparable and it's not like he's going to NC where they'll hold Duke against him
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby kaskomm09 » 22 Mar 2012, 17:08

TVF wannabe wrote:
(4) He turned down Illinois in favor of Duke as a player out of high school, so I'm hesitant to have him selling kids on that exact same decision 20 years later


I don't think that's a sticking point, they aren't comparable and it's not like he's going to NC where they'll hold Duke against him


I didn't say it was a sticking point, but I do think it's part of his stigma, at least to me.

RT @AaronB_WCIA: Duke asst. Chris Collins tells ESPN Chicago that he hasn't heard from Illinois, but the job would be "the right fit" for him


Thank Christ, let's keep it that way.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby edogpgc » 24 Mar 2012, 07:39

http://espn.go.com/chicago/ncb/story/_/ ... coach-hire

BOT happy with the process, looks like a white coach can be hired...

"I'm confident that the process of finding the next coach includes a proper amount of emphasis on diversity," Oliver said in a phone conversation. "We met last week with Mike Thomas in closed session. Without going into detail, we as a board, not just Lawrence Oliver, are satisfied the proper emphasis is being placed on diversity.

"It doesn't guarantee the next coach is African-American. As I've said before, it's not a litmus test for me as long as we all understand in men's basketball and football we have not really broken ground in that yet. I think we all understand that. We all want to see some gains made. It's about the process and emphasis, of course. My vote wasn't about color."

Oliver said individual candidates were not discussed, and the board was not out to micromanage Thomas. Oliver was pleased the board was having more interaction with Thomas during the men's basketball search than during the football one.


Yesterday, the latest nutpunch people have set themselves up for is Brad Stevens, which was the rumor blowing up yesterday. The furthest credible journalists have gone is that there is interest on both sides; Stevens denies being contacted (could be working through 3rd parties, I suppose). There are a handful of douchebag messageboard posters saying it's pretty much a done deal, and they are sticking to that, even after the Stevens denial.

Stevens would be even better than Shaka, but now way I'm getting my hopes up on this one. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, uh, um, uh, you can't fool me again.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby nova » 24 Mar 2012, 09:07

I agree that Stevens would be interested. Butler caught lightning in a bottle and probably is probably not a tournament team next year. I would have pause over Stevens because he doesn't seem like he can right the wrongs of Bruce, specifically recruiting in the cesspool of humanity thy is Chicago AAU coaches.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby kaskomm09 » 24 Mar 2012, 22:49

nasty nova wrote:I agree that Stevens would be interested. Butler caught lightning in a bottle and probably is probably not a tournament team next year. I would have pause over Stevens because he doesn't seem like he can right the wrongs of Bruce, specifically recruiting in the cesspool of humanity thy is Chicago AAU coaches.


Agreed on that concern. I think that's the pause much of the fanbase would/does have. Still, it'd be a hire I'd be good with.

As an aside, searches in the twitter era are absolutely nutty. The amount of people citing "sources" on hearsay is insane. He's getting a good deal of flack for the Shaka rejection, but I think Mike Thomas has done a good job of keeping things quiet, not letting anything leak out of his offices and moving through his list in the search. I'm interested to see what next week brings. I'd be shocked if they don't have a coach by next Friday, as I don't believe there are any/many candidates (even in the large, suggested pool by the fanbase) still playing basketball.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby edogpgc » 25 Mar 2012, 09:37

kaskomm09 wrote:
nasty nova wrote:I agree that Stevens would be interested. Butler caught lightning in a bottle and probably is probably not a tournament team next year. I would have pause over Stevens because he doesn't seem like he can right the wrongs of Bruce, specifically recruiting in the cesspool of humanity thy is Chicago AAU coaches.


Agreed on that concern. I think that's the pause much of the fanbase would/does have. Still, it'd be a hire I'd be good with.

As an aside, searches in the twitter era are absolutely nutty. The amount of people citing "sources" on hearsay is insane. He's getting a good deal of flack for the Shaka rejection, but I think Mike Thomas has done a good job of keeping things quiet, not letting anything leak out of his offices and moving through his list in the search. I'm interested to see what next week brings. I'd be shocked if they don't have a coach by next Friday, as I don't believe there are any/many candidates (even in the large, suggested pool by the fanbase) still playing basketball.


Weber started the year with like 7 (8?) top 100 guys on the roster, so no coach should have trouble fielding a talented roster. Unless we "play the game," we're not going to get the Roses or Davises, but the rest of the state (including Chicago/Chicago area, for the most part) should be open. Additionally, I'd expect Stevens to be able to supplement the state talent with some solid Indiana talent. He'd be a home run. I'm still not buying that he's a legit possibility, though he never explicitly said he's staying at Butler or would not consider UI.

I have heard the Chicago stuff is a big part of the reason Theus' name was being thrown around. Apparently, he has curried favor with all of the big AAU people (Irvins, Reggie Rose, etc.), and also has the support of a lot of former UI players and coaches (i.e., Lou Henson). I guess he's not getting a serious look, though. He's been turned down by DePaul, UNLV, Nebraska, and others. While he wouldn't be my first choice, I'm not really understanding why he's not getting looks anywhere - I think there's upside there.

People seem to be resigning themselves to John Groce, and seem pretty pissed about it. I think there's upside there for sure. Like I believe you said after the football search, these things aren't exact sciences - there's enough uncertainty about these things to usually not get so worked up one way or another. Give whoever is hired a fair chance. I do wonder, though, if Thomas will have trouble raising money for the renovations if it's an "underwhelming" hire.

ETA: There were tons of leaks with the Shaka stuff, particularly the day/night before he made up his mind. Unless you think legit reporters were just making up shit. I agree though, that coaching searches in the twitter era inherently make ADs look like doofuses, sometimes unfairly. Also, Klee says Thomas wants to have it wrapped up by the Final Four.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby nova » 29 Mar 2012, 09:19

John Groce agrees to coach Illinois.

Barring a Dana Altman switch (which I doubt), Groce will be getting a sizable increase from his 250k per year he saw in Athens.

Not to break my arm patting myself on the back, but this is the kind of coach I felt they should have pursued all along.

I think the best coach for Illinois is someone who has ties to the region and relationships with the players and coaches in the area. Archie Miller or Mick Cronin seem to make sense to me from the jobs they would be leaving, as well as their familiarity with the Midwest.


This was a week before the tournament started.

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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby Briandong79 » 29 Mar 2012, 09:32

Press conference today at 1 pm central to announce the new coach.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby kaskomm09 » 30 Mar 2012, 10:01

There's a good portion of the fan base that is -- or at least, was -- pissy over the hire, but I'm pretty pleased with Groce. I admittedly knew little to nothing about him prior to midway through the process, where he emerged as a legitimate name, but everything I've heard since has been very positive. As Nova said, he's got strong midwest ties and has had numerous recruiting successes (lead guy on Oden, Conley, Cook, etc at Ohio State). The Chicago scene is throwing its usual hissy fit over the hire, but I've seen that song and dance before. In the end, I think Groce has what it takes to create a strong enough bloodline coming from the Chicago area into the program.

I now anxiously await seeing how he assembles his staff and how the program comes out of this as far as current players (and possible transfers), verbally committed players and the near-future with the continued recruiting of the 2013 class. It is looking more and more likely that Jerrance Howard is going to head somewhere else -- to a KU or UK -- which should be an interesting development.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby nova » 30 Mar 2012, 10:05

Is that big dolt Myers Leonard going pro? On paper, he seems like he'd be at least a first round pick, but in practice, he could probably work his way into the lottery if stayed and really focused.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby kaskomm09 » 30 Mar 2012, 10:15

nasty nova wrote:Is that big dolt Myers Leonard going pro? On paper, he seems like he'd be at least a first round pick, but in practice, he could probably work his way into the lottery if stayed and really focused.


Everyone seems to think he will go pro, yes. The report is always that he's going to jump if he gets a lottery guarantee. I don't follow the mocks enough to know where he stands, but I have heard various sources have him in the lottery. Obviously, I'd love to have him back and think it could do a world of good as far as his long term future (getting that second NBA contract), but I completely understand if he does bolt, as he's under a lot of pressure to provide for his family. His Dad passed away in an accident when he was young, his brother serves in the military and his mother has some health issues that keep her from working.

Here's a nice piece The Journey did this year on Meyers and his brother:



That said, latest I heard is that Groce met with the team yesterday prior to the presser and gave them all his cell number. The Illini beat writer said that Meyers was texting him late yesterday, which seems like a positive as to the fact he's actually truly weighing a decision, rather than him having a foot out the door and simply counting down the days to declare.
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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby Brick Tamland » 30 Mar 2012, 12:20

Briandong79 wrote:Press conference today at 1 pm central to announce the new coach.


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Re: Illinois Sucks III: Fired Ron Zook!

Postby edogpgc » 31 Mar 2012, 12:17

There was no hope before, but there is hope now. I, for one, am excited to have Jim Furyk roaming the sidelines in the future:

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