#ILCOACHSEARCH: Day 17

I’m thinking this search only has a lifespan of two more days, maybe three. That’s for the best – this is going to kill me.

Hot

Brad Stevens was mentioned in two stories today – one from Shannon Ryan at the Trib, which said pretty much nothing new, and another from Herb Gould at the Sun-Times, which said a lot, albeit weirdly. Here are the key parts:

Butler coach Brad Stevens met with Illinois officials Sunday, multiple sources told the Sun-Times, but it might not have been what people think.

Even though Illinois is prepared to come up with an eight-year deal worth more than $20 million, it’s not clear whether Stevens is genuinely open to changing jobs or simply was interested in hearing what the Illini representatives had to say.

If true, it’s significant that Stevens met with Illinois. If all he wanted was to hear what they had to say, that can be accomplished through other means.

‘‘They may even have called him to ask about [Ohio coach] John Groce,’’ one source said, referring to someone else on athletic director Mike Thomas’ radar after he guided the Bobcats to their second strong NCAA tournament in three years.

Huh? You’re going to direct this much attention towards Stevens just to treat him as a reference?

That still sounds like a bit of a reach from Herb’s source. You could easily do your due diligence on Groce without pumping another candidate for the same job for information. Then there’s this from Dan Bernstein:

What? If he’s “demanding” that, then give it to him and close the deal. I wish it were that simple, but unfortunately, it’s probably not.

John Groce was the co-star of that Gould article, which claims that Groce has been contacted by Illinois, but only in a preliminary manner. It’s probably going to be him, isn’t it? [kicks dirt]

Frank Martin

Reggie Theus

Warm

Buzz Williams

Jay Wright

Stan Heath

Eddie Johnson

Jeff Capel

Cold/Nonexistent

Sean Miller

Lorenzo Romar

Anthony Grant

Josh Pastner

Chris Collins

Tony Bennett

Kevin Stallings

Scott Drew

Chris Mack

Craig Robinson

Larry Brown

Out:

Johnny Dawkins

Gregg Marshall

Shaka Smart

Leonard Hamilton

Jerrance Howard

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