Source: Illinois turns attention to Groce

March 26, 2012

Associated Press

A person familiar with the coaching search at Illinois says the Illini are interested in talking to Ohio's John Groce.

The person said Sunday that Illinois turned its attention to Groce after Brad Stevens said he will stay at Butler. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the search to replace fired coach Bruce Weber is ongoing.

A message was left seeking comment from Ohio basketball spokesman Drew Wiseman.

Groce coached Ohio to a 29-7 record this season and a spot in the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament. The Bobcats lost 73-65 to top-seeded North Carolina on Friday in one of the best games of the tournament.

Stevens had reportedly been an Illini target after Shaka Smart elected to stay at VCU

Stevens says he is "happy and extremely grateful" to be at Butler.