Akron has hired former Illinois coach John Groce to take over its program. Groce replaces Keith Dambrot, who surprisingly left his alma mater last week after a successful run to coach at Duquesne. Groce is familiar with the Mid-American Conference after spending four seasons at Ohio. He went 85-56 at the school and twice led the Bobcats to the NCAA Tournament.
Earlier this month, Quincy native Curtis Lovelace was found not guilty after the second trial that accused him of killing his first wife, Cory Lovelace. Curtis served as a prosecutor and before that played football for the University of Illinois. His former wife was also a college grad, and a stay-at-home mom for their four children.
Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman has announced that Nancy Fahey has been named the next women's basketball coach. She comes from Washington University in St. Louis, where she spent 31 years. A member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, she's guided the Bears to an NCAA record five Division III National Championships.
New University of Illinois men’s basketball coach Brad Underwood says he’s honored to be taking over a program in a city he’s visited many times before. The former Oklahoma State coach and 18th coach in Illini history met with reporters for the first time Monday in Champaign. Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman says the two of them hit it off instantly in their first face to face meeting Saturday.
Oklahoma State coach Brad Underwood is leaving Stillwater for Illinois after just one season, calling the chance to lead the Fighting Illini a "once in a lifetime opportunity." Underwood spent three successful seasons at Stephen F. Austin before signing on to coach Oklahoma State for 2016-17. "We were looking for a proven winner who would build upon our proud tradition while developing an unmistakable identity for Illinois basketball," Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman said in a statement. "Brad's teams play a fast, aggressive style and show unyielding toughness."
Interim Head Coach Jamall Walker picked up a victory in the Illini's NIT opener, 82-57 over Valparaiso at State Farm Center Tuesday night. Malcolm Hill led the Illini with 25 points. Leron Black added a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, as the Illini advance to the second round to face the winner of Boise State and Utah, who play later Tuesday evening.