Thursday’s column from CBS Chicago …
(CBS) The days are dark in Champaign right now.
And it has nothing to do with the time change.
At the University of Illinois, the football program is caught up in a tailspin so severe that an ETA on its actual crash landing remains unavailable. As a result, the first-year football coach has hardly instilled confidence – let alone enthusiasm – among a frazzled fan base. And in turn, the second-year athletic director has become the target for many a critical arrow, including those from yours truly.
With despair sweeping across the Illinois prairies – and creeping through the streets of Chicago – a restless Illini Nation is in dire need of a savior to light the way back to brighter days.
Enter John Groce.
On Friday night, the Illini’s new hope, er… new basketball coach’s Fighting Illini team tips off the 2012-13 season when it hosts Colgate at Assembly Hall. Here’s to hoping that we see a brand of basketball that’s minty fresh.
But whatever the flavor, I expect that we will see plenty of different things from Groce’s inaugural team when compared to departed coach Bruce Weber’s. That includes a faster pace, perhaps some zone defense and hopefully higher scoring totals. But an antsy Illini fandom needs to not expect to see too much from Groce & Co.
After all, it’s too soon.
To continue reading, visit CBSChicago.com …