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John Groce's Illini Coaching Staff - Dustin Ford, Paris Parham, Jamall Walker

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Old Apr 10, 2012, 01:26 PM   #1301
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Wow - even Dee can't spell his name. Maybe it was time for him to go...
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 01:37 PM   #1302
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Best of luck to Jerrance (and the other coaching staff members who are leaving). I hope he has success wherever he goes. Thanks for his years of service here and for his passion for the University of Illinois. I understand why he may not have been retained by Coach Groce but that doesn't make this any easier for him, his family, and friends. I have a feeling we will be bumping heads with Jerrance on the recruiting trail in the future.

Good luck, Snacks. You !
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 01:43 PM   #1303
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I first said what feels like weeks ago that it would probably be best if Snacks moves to another program. I don't have time to read all the pages I have missed here, but I think we are far better off with 3 assistants that are 100% behind Groce and that Groce is comfortable with.

Good luck JH in your next job.
I agree. I think this is one of those rare best for everyone involved scenarios. JH is a good young coach, but he needs to develop more rounded skills if he wants to be a big-school head coach. His salary, as I recall, was a panic response to him possibly leaving. Because the head coach whose name we no longer speak was not a strong recruiter, JH was viewed as a necessity on the staff. Groce obviously views the role of assistant coaches differently, expecting each to recruit, develop players, provide in-game coaching input etc.

I suspect Groce has had time to visit the recruits and their families, both those who previously committed to Illinois and those who have not but are interested, and talk with the key high school and AAU coaches. We are on the outside looking in, but he now has first-hand knowledge of what role JH played in the recruiting process and how much he will be missed.

On a personal level, having watched him as a player and a developing coach, I hate to see him go, but it may be time to kick the little bird out of the nest so he can see how high he can fly.
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 01:54 PM   #1304
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He's gone...It is frustrating to some but we will eventually get over it (unless Snacks makes a claim about why he left, then we will start a new thread over it).

My major hope now is that we bring back SOMEONE with ties to the U of I. We have too rich a heritage to only have staffers from smaller schools in Ohio. This also concerns me, as a staff with little loyalty or ties to UI could be more likely to take off.
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 01:55 PM   #1305
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Thank you JH for everything! Good luck!
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 01:59 PM   #1306
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Originally Posted by Chris Yates View Post
Anyone who thinks we won't be competing against Jerrance Howard for Chicago recruits is crazy. JH has market value as an assistant coach primarily because of his close ties all over the State of Illinois, including Chicago. He will surely land with a coaching staff that's looking or build or maintain valuable recruiting connections in Chicago. For those of you who wanted this result, be careful what you wish for . . . .
Almost no one wanted this to happen. Many have come to accept this as inevitable. Losing Howard to a competitor will hurt, but as we have seen lack of cohesiveness in a coaching staff can also be very damaging.

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Old Apr 10, 2012, 02:01 PM   #1307
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The positives outweigh the negatives.

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Old Apr 10, 2012, 02:03 PM   #1308
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Again, Price recruited Leonard and Paul, our two best players, plus Bertrand and Griffey. He also was the lead recruiter for Malcolm Hill.

Jerrance's only recruit that he has been the lead recruiter on who has started is Abrams. He is responsible for the 2011 class plus Jalen James.

Why does he get more credit than he deserves? I like Jerrance. Wish he was still on the staff, but he has this mythical reputation that is not entirely based on facts.
Some myths die hard.

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Old Apr 10, 2012, 02:10 PM   #1309
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Originally Posted by KBLEE View Post
Wow - even Dee can't spell his name. Maybe it was time for him to go...
I'm with you on that one. If you care enough to make the tweet, at least spell the guy's name correctly...
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 02:10 PM   #1310
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Prior to JH, the recruiting had hit a stone wall. After his arrival, we had three highly-rated classes in a row. Coincidence? I don't think so. He received two salary increases, making him not only the youngest, but highest paid assistant. Are there guys out there that may be better recruiters than he is? Probably. How likely is it that we'll get them? Low. How likely is it we'll get a guy as good as JH? Very difficult to know. When you toss in the relationship he has with the current players, the ties he has made with coaches and players throughout the state, and his loyalty to the program, we should be happy if he stays. It doesn't mean the sky is falling if he leaves, but it's unlikely we'll get someone better.
Groce obviously thinks he is going to get a better assistant coach for his program and it sounds like he already knows who he will hire. Maybe this hire will be as good a recruiter as Jerrance, maybe not, but assistant coaches have to do more than recruit. And the program as a whole is better off if the entire staff is on the same page.

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Old Apr 10, 2012, 02:13 PM   #1311
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I'm with Dee's tweet or twitter or whatever you call it.
Were you happy before this became public? The fact that Jerrance is leaving has been the worst kept secret regarding Illinois basketball in a while. I think it is pretty telling when we have recruits visit campus and talk to our new coaches, and Jerrance is no where to be seen.

Groce has the right to assemble his own staff. He wants coaches that he is familiar with, and also coaches that are familiar with his preferred style of play.

We will be just fine without Coach Howard, but I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 02:17 PM   #1312
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Were you happy before this became public? The fact that Jerrance is leaving has been the worst kept secret regarding Illinois basketball in a while. I think it is pretty telling when we have recruits visit campus and talk to our new coaches, and Jerrance is no where to be seen.

Groce has the right to assemble his own staff. He wants coaches that he is familiar with, and also coaches that are familiar with his preferred style of play.

We will be just fine without Coach Howard, but I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.
I agree. Malcolm Hill recommitted to Groce. Jalen James recommitted to Groce. Groce has made far more headway with Nunn than Howard was able to do at Illinois. All of the current players are staying.

The last thing you want is a divided staff or split loyalties among the players. In particular, Groce is know for being demanding of his players and I'm not sure how that would work if Jerrance was kissing their boo boos behind the scenes. I can see why Groce might want to go a different direction.

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Old Apr 10, 2012, 02:23 PM   #1313
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Originally Posted by HeartofaChampion View Post
http://blogs.suntimes.com/hoopsrepor...earch_con.html

Interesting take. Sounds like he's talked to JH often the last 2 weeks.
It is pretty clear from this article that even as late as last night Jerrance was still hoping to stay at Illinois. Given that Groce didn't talk to Jerrance all that much over the past two weeks, it also seems clear that he really preferred to start fresh. Perhaps once all of the current commitments and current players were safely in the fold, Groce felt confident of being able move forward without Jerrance and not take a short-term hit.

Quote:
A couple of weeks ago it wouldn't have been too difficult to sell Howard on staying at Illinois. He was looking for a reason to stay true and committed to Illinois, as he's always done, which is why he will and should always be welcomed back to the program and university.

At the end of the day, when you include all the different dynamics and circumstances, it's probably the best move for Howard and Illinois to part ways at this time. He will land on his feet quickly. But it will never be the job he loves the most.

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Old Apr 10, 2012, 02:34 PM   #1314
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"Meeting with him, it was hard now. He loves this place," Groce said today. "He played here. He's coached here. And that made it a little unique and different. His wife (Jessica) went to school here. So I had to take all of that into consideration. That's part of the reason it's taken me some time to make that decision. He was a very viable candidate.

"But at the end of the day, for me, the thing I was most comfortable with was starting with that clean slate. It's nothing against Jerrance. He's done a good job. I know he's going to do well regardless of where his life heads from here."

Klee

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Old Apr 10, 2012, 02:39 PM   #1315
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So what you're telling me GHD is that Groce is a guy who prefers "fit" and comfort level??
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 02:41 PM   #1316
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My first real--and lasting impression--of Jerrance was at the BTT final game in 2004.

A young girl--probably around 10, IIRC--sang the national anthem. After she was done, Jerrance ran over from the bench and gave her a big hug. That's the only time I've ever seen an athlete do that. That told me he was a class act.

Bruce Weber credited JH for getting his message across to the other players in the 2003-2004, so he had a role in the run to the NC game.

Good luck, Jerrance. You've represented the alma mater well.

Dave
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 03:01 PM   #1317
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Originally Posted by Groundhogday View Post
The last thing you want is a divided staff or split loyalties among the players. In particular, Groce is know for being demanding of his players and I'm not sure how that would work if Jerrance was kissing their boo boos behind the scenes. I can see why Groce might want to go a different direction.
This is probably the biggest reason for JG's decision imo. This is now officially his team with his staff (minus one more asst to be named) and they are now his players. The players are disappointed JH isn't returning, but coaching changes happen. They'll get over it and dive into the new system and coaching staff.

Last edited by Dan; Apr 10, 2012 at 04:20 PM. Reason: Moved part of this post to new thread "John Groce's player development philosophy: Chart everything"
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 03:17 PM   #1318
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Originally Posted by AHSIllini32 View Post
So what you're telling me GHD is that Groce is a guy who prefers "fit" and comfort level??
Groce is a "fit" guy.

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Old Apr 10, 2012, 03:20 PM   #1319
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My first real--and lasting impression--of Jerrance was at the BTT final game in 2004.

A young girl--probably around 10, IIRC--sang the national anthem. After she was done, Jerrance ran over from the bench and gave her a big hug. That's the only time I've ever seen an athlete do that. That told me he was a class act.

Bruce Weber credited JH for getting his message across to the other players in the 2003-2004, so he had a role in the run to the NC game.

Good luck, Jerrance. You've represented the alma mater well.

Dave
Not saying that isn't class but google Maurice Cheeks and National Anthem - why M. Cheeks is one of my favorites now.
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 03:22 PM   #1320
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Prior to JH, the recruiting had hit a stone wall. After his arrival, we had three highly-rated classes in a row. Coincidence? I don't think so. He received two salary increases, making him not only the youngest, but highest paid assistant. Are there guys out there that may be better recruiters than he is? Probably. How likely is it that we'll get them? Low. How likely is it we'll get a guy as good as JH? Very difficult to know. When you toss in the relationship he has with the current players, the ties he has made with coaches and players throughout the state, and his loyalty to the program, we should be happy if he stays. It doesn't mean the sky is falling if he leaves, but it's unlikely we'll get someone better.
JH played a role, but Weber made some improvements as well and played a bigger role than some would like to admit, IMO. I know everyone gave all the credit to JH, especially at the time, but I don't know how you square that with how upset the freshman were about Weber's job status, the Parkers' comments about Weber, etc. And as others have pointed out, JH wasn't even the lead recruiter on Leonard, Paul, etc.

JH is a solid recruiter, but we can't pretend that he was landing 5*, NBA talent left and right. With Groce in charge, I think our floor is already landing the type of guys that JH was landing. I would have liked to keep JH around for a year or two to help with the 2013 and 2014 classes, but I wouldn't blow Groce's decision on JH out of proportion.
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 03:37 PM   #1321
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I'm not surprised at all by this move. I think it was taking way to long to get it done(if JH was going to stay)and the more time it took I figured JH was out. It appears that Groce wants a fresh start here and I can't complain about that. I am a big JH fan and wish him luck where ever he lands.
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 03:48 PM   #1322
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Perfect ending to the past 6 months. Give one of our own who has succeeded and who has been loyal to the University the BOOT. After reading Klee's article, it is very apparent Jerrance wanted to stay.

Mike Thomas--- Hope our teams do well. Your neck is officially now on the line. I am a long-time supporter of the DIA, but right now I don't know who we are. What this has done is turn me into someone who sat back and rarely said anything into one of the biggest critics. Right now, I don't care about Illinois athletics. I hope the summer and some time away helps me feel different before football season.
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 04:00 PM   #1323
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Perfect ending to the past 6 months. Give one of our own who has succeeded and who has been loyal to the University the BOOT. After reading Klee's article, it is very apparent Jerrance wanted to stay.

Mike Thomas--- Hope our teams do well. Your neck is officially now on the line. I am a long-time supporter of the DIA, but right now I don't know who we are. What this has done is turn me into someone who sat back and rarely said anything into one of the biggest critics. Right now, I don't care about Illinois athletics. I hope the summer and some time away helps me feel different before football season.
First of all, did he really succeed? He's been an assistant for teams that have collectively underachieved. He brought in recruits, yes, but have those recruits done anything of note yet? He doesn't deserve all of the credit for bringing those players in, nor does he deserve all the blame for those players not developing (thus far). However, I'm not sure I'd call his tenure at the U of I "succeeding".

Second of all, how is Mike Thomas' neck on the line? He allowed his head coach to choose his own staff. The head coach chose to hire his own staff and to not retain Jerrance. You simply cannot hire a head coach and immediately handcuff him and expect to have a successful program. You're blaming Thomas for a decision that any competent AD would have made.
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 04:01 PM   #1324
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I'm not suggesting that Groce can't or won't be successful. The little I've heard or read about him, I like him. I just like to have Illini representing and coaching on the staff. I don't get thrilled when the coaches are from Ohio or in Self's case, Oklahoma. For the record I never liked Self. I was happy he left. When Weber was hired, I was hoping Judson would be the new head coach. I'm a homer and can't help it.
I would love it if Illinois became a breeding ground for D1 coaches, but I can't think of too many programs, aside from Duke and Carolina, where there has been a significant history of ex-players on the bench--and even at Duke it has been assistants--K played at West Point. Williams wound up at NC where he played on the JV team, but only after making a name for himself at KU and waiting until his slot opened. I would guess that most HC's would prefer guys who buy into their system and help develop players than guys who have a link to the school.

Jerrance will land on his feet, there is no doubt. While I would have loved to see him stay, I don't fault Groce for this decision and have faith that this was not an easy decision.
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Old Apr 10, 2012, 04:02 PM   #1325
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Perfect ending to the past 6 months. Give one of our own who has succeeded and who has been loyal to the University the BOOT. After reading Klee's article, it is very apparent Jerrance wanted to stay.

Mike Thomas--- Hope our teams do well. Your neck is officially now on the line. I am a long-time supporter of the DIA, but right now I don't know who we are. What this has done is turn me into someone who sat back and rarely said anything into one of the biggest critics. Right now, I don't care about Illinois athletics. I hope the summer and some time away helps me feel different before football season.
Very rarely do new coaches keep prior assistants on staff. I don't see why anyone is surprised by this.

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