Summer conversations: John Groce (part II)

The team this year seemed to be really mentally strained come February. How as a coach to you face that? How do you prepare your team to deal with that?

That's a great question. I told those guys that I'm one of those people that believes in controlling the controlables. You can't control the past, good or bad. That's gone. People keep asking me about last year, and I haven't watched enough of last year to be able to critique last year. I saw a couple games on TV, and not even the whole game. So for me to say yay or nay -- that's totally unfair.

But I know right now we're going in a direction where we establish and develop a culture where we finish everything. Whether that's academics, whether that's something off the court, whether that's finishing a game, finishing a possession with a rebound, executing on a given offensive possession, finishing the half, finishing a four minute war... finish finish finish. I just think it's a mindset. Being a finisher is a mindset.

Right now, are we where we need to be in that area? No. But in the spring, that's why we came up with our motto: T-n-T. Toughness and togetherness. It's what we need more than anything else. Part of that is what I think you're talking about, where we've got to be able, when we get popped in the mouth, to stay right here and handle adversity and fight. I call it having fight syndrome instead of flight syndrome.

alioneye.com





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2016-2017 Illini Basketball Schedule

Home: 9-2 | Away: 0-2 | Neutral: 3-2
Record: 12-6 (2-3)
DateOpponentTime/TV
Fri, Nov 11Southeast Missouri StW 81-62
Sun, Nov 13Northern KentuckyW 79-64
Tue, Nov 15McKendreeW 112-65
Fri, Nov 18DetroitW 89-69
Mon, Nov 21WinthropL 84-80 OT
Thu, Nov 24West VirginiaL 89-57
Fri, Nov 25Florida StateL 72-61
Tue, Nov 29NC StateW 88-74
Sat, Dec 3VCUW 64-46
Tue, Dec 6IUPUIW 85-77
Sat, Dec 10Central MichiganW 92-73
Sat, Dec 17BYUW 75-73
Wed, Dec 21MissouriW 75-66
Tue, Dec 27@MarylandL 84-59
Sun, Jan 1Ohio StateW 75-70
Sat, Jan 7@IndianaL 96-80
Wed, Jan 11MichiganW 85-69
Sat, Jan 14MarylandL 62-56
Tue, Jan 17@Purdue6:00pm BTN
Sat, Jan 21@Michigan1:15pm BTN
Wed, Jan 25Iowa8:00pm BTN
Sat, Jan 28@Penn State3:30pm BTN
Tue, Jan 31Wisconsin8:00pm BTN
Sat, Feb 4Minnesota3:00pm BTN
Tue, Feb 7@Northwestern7:00pm BTN
Sat, Feb 11Penn State1:00pm BTN
Sat, Feb 18@Iowa1:00pm BTN
Tue, Feb 21Northwestern7:00pm BTN
Sun, Feb 26@Nebraska6:30pm BTN
Wed, Mar 1Michigan State8:00pm BTN
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