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Posted: Today 11:57 AM

Re: 05/05 Radio: JG talks Illini at 3:05 

Goober30 wrote: So the athletic director doesn't care about the state of the two highest revenue sports?

According to a psychopath, yes. 

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Posted: Today 9:33 AM

Re: 05/05 Radio: JG talks Illini at 3:05 

salukIL4ever wrote: Bottom line sets down to: If Groce cant get to the NCAA tourney next year (which should be a minimum every year), he should be out, but our AD will never do that, so the point is moot.
Making the NCAA tourney every year is a stupid requirement for a coach, especially early in their career. Heck, Billy Donovan has missed the tourney 3 times in the last 8 years. He took over Kruger's Florida team and started his career 11-21 in the SEC. But obviously with 4 final fours and 2 championships, he is still considered an elite coach. Calipari even missed the tourney a couple of years ago and was in danger of missing it again the next year. Key players get hurt, leave the program, get suspended, etc. It can cripple a team that isn't stacked with tremendous depth like a Duke, Kentucky, or Kansas. Unless you are one of the truly elite programs (some of which also miss the tourney on occasion), you are going to have down years.

You have to be smarter than firing a guy just for falling 1 or 2 games short with seriously flawed teams (both teams were picked by many experts to finish in the bottom half preseason) during a rebuilding process. The 2012 team was not expected to make the tourney, yet they won a game and nearly knocked off the 2 seed. They were playing like a top 16 team at the end of the year and in that tournament. The 2013 team was picked to finish as low as 11th by experts. A bench entirely comprised of freshmen - none of which were top 50 players expected to contribute right away. They finished 8th, and at year end, were playing like one of the top 4-5 teams, beating Minnesota, Iowa, and Michigan State all on the road. This year, in the preseason, Illinois was picked 8th by the Sporting News, 7th by ESPN, and no higher than 5th by any service I could find. They lose their PG, kick a key backup big man off the team, lose their best player for 9 games, find out their predicted second best player is a complete bust, battle major chemistry issues, and still finish 8th right around where they were predicted to be at full strength. Groce hasn't knocked anybody's socks off with his success, but he has hardly been a big failure to this point either.

If you look deeper and don't like what you see in terms of X's and O's, player development, recruiting, team culture, etc, fine. But I seriously hope that our AD isn't so short-sighted that they ignore any excuses/reasons for the outcomes, ignore recruiting signals, ignore the roster makeup, the culture, the philosphies, etc, and simply draw a firm line as "tourney this year or bust". I expect that with the recruiting skills Groce has, and the way he has made tremendous progress with the Chicago coaches, he will have a pretty long leash. Long enough to see how kids like JCL and Black can do and long enough to see what he can do when he finally grabs his own PG.

Last edited Today 9:35 AM by BigTenPaul

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