Hello, Illini fans!
Yes, I am an Illinois fan. I still admit it, even though it's hard to after this season.
Illinois' men's basketball team has hit rock bottom this year, or at least, close to it. They stand at 5-10 in the Big Ten and are currently on a five-game losing streak. Three of their losses were to Northwestern (at home), Penn State, and newcomer Nebraska (by 20 points) this season.
The way that Illinois has been playing since Bruce Weber spoke out to the media after the Purdue loss, the only remaining game they're probably going to win will be at home against suddenly-red-hot Iowa. Even at home they will be hard-pressed to beat Michigan, and have little chance going to Madison to beat a Wisconsin team that already won in Champaign this season.
It appears the Bruce Weber era will end after this season, which is a far cry from the 2005 season's run to the national championship game. In Weber's last five seasons he will have made the NCAA Tournament just two times and won just one game. This will be Illinois' second season under Weber that they will finish with a losing Big Ten record. Weber did a great job with Bill Self's recruits but has shown little to nothing with his own recruits.
The question is who should be targeted by athletic director Mike Thomas to be the next basketball coach of the Fighting Illini? Ideally the candidate should have a proven track record, a bright future, and Midwestern ties. We want a head coach that considers Illinois a destination job, not a stepping stone to a bigger job.
While the school will be interviewing candidates, the candidates will also be interviewing Illinois. We have to make these candidates believe that Illinois is a better (both financially and in terms of being able to win) situation than their current job.
Here are a some people who I feel Illinois should target: