Experts: Illini coach faces recruiting challenge


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- As John Groce (GROHS) takes over as head basketball coach at Illinois, experts say he will face serious skepticism when he starts trying to recruit players attending Chicago high schools.

Chicago recruiting analyst Joe Henricksen says the city's coaches would rather the Illini have hired someone they knew to replace the fired Bruce Weber.

And former Illini and current ESPN analyst Stephen Bardo says Groce will have to work hard to sell himself in the city, where players with the potential to make it into the NBA are produced every year.

But Henricksen doubts coaches will shut Groce out altogether. Henricksen says the former Ohio University coach will at least have the chance to build relationships in Chicago.