It’s not official yet, but it’s looking very likely that Illini Nation will have to settle for their sixth choice in a head coaching candidate, a man with a 34-30 carer record in the MAC. Ohio Bobcats coach John Groce could be introduced as Bruce Weber’s successor in the next couple days. And he’s not a terrible hire, it just means that this hiring process has been a complete failure up to this point.
I know that seems contradictory: hiring a decent candidate, even though the process is a fiasco. Let me explain Croce brings steak, but no sizzle. And maybe the Illini need meat and potatoes right now over flash. Their PR splash hire boat has sunk long ago.
Before this process began, Seth Davis of CBS described the Illini job as a “top ten nationally.” Consensus was top 15-20. Today, after getting rejected by two mid-major coaches, and a couple more with mediocre at best credentials, it barely looks top 50.
Here’s why, and also why Groce would actually be a great fit.
First, this is...