Today, March 11, Illinois Men’s basketball coach, John Groce was fired. A replacement for Groce will likely be announced in the next two weeks. Josh Whitman, the Illinois athletic director, is not someone who wastes time making hiring decisions. He’ll look for a good coach that he likes and go out and get him. Most of the coaches on everybody’s lists are head coaches whose teams will be selected for this year’s NCAA Tournament tomorrow. And Whitman will be unable to speak with any of them until their tournament run ends. However, 52 of the 68 teams chosen on Selection Sunday will end their seasons by next Sunday, so most of the coaches will be able to talk to Whitman by then. Then again, Whitman may not go after a head coach. A well established assistant coach is a possibility. And I’m sure a coach with connections to Chicago area high schools would be preferable. I also think that the choice will be impressive, like Whitman’s choice of Lovie Smith as football coach was a year ago. In any case, I fully expect the new Illinois basketball coach to be hired in less than two weeks.