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Illinois head basketball coach John Groce was given a vote of confidence from new athletic director Josh Whitman on Saturday.

By SI Wire
March 05, 2016

Illinois head basketball coach John Groce was given a vote of confidence from new athletic director Josh Whitman on Saturday.

Whitman, who also fired head football coach Bill Cubit on Saturday, his first day on the job, said he was comfortable with Groce and planned to retain him going forward.

“I think it's important today that folks understand that John Groce is going to continue to be our basketball coach,” Whitman said, according to the Champaign News-Gazette. “He's a first-class individual and an excellent leader. He's a student of basketball and leadership and I feel really comfortable with the leadership he's given our guys.”

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The Illini are 13–17 this season, and have been hampered by injuries. They have missed the NCAA tournament the past three seasons. Two players, Leron Black and Darius Paul, have been arrested in the past seven months. Paul was kicked off the team.

Groce is 75–59 as head coach since arriving from Ohio in 2012, and led the team to the tournament in his first season with players largely recruited by previous coach Bruce Weber.

 

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