John Groce | Head Coach | Men’s Basketball | University of Illinois

Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?

We are looking for a complete fit across the board. We value talented basketball players just as much as every other program, but we also place an extremely high emphasis on character, academics, and personal characteristics that we correlate to winning at the highest level. Each program is different in terms of what they value, and we are no different.

These are 3 things that are very important to us:


· Individuals that believe in doing things thee right way


· Players that will be extraordinarily committed to both basketball and school


· Players that are passionate about the game of basketball and want to get better


Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?

I would say there are a few that have excelled beyond my expectations and I think that while each of these individuals are different in certain ways, each also shared many of the same characteristics:

– Serious-minded and mature

– Had a true concept of reality

– Passionate

– Coachable

– Extrordinarily committed (they were what I call “EXTRA” guys)

– They wanted to get better