John Groce

John Groce era begins at Illinois with 79-47 exhibition victory

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John Groce’s tenure at Illinois officially got underway Saturday night with a 79-47 exhibition victory over Lewis at Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill.

All 13 players logged minutes for the Illini in the win, with D.J. Richardson’s 12 points leading the scoring. Myke Henry and Sam McLaurin also reached double figures with 11 each and Brandon Paul finishing with nine points and five assists.

“The think the biggest thing I learned tonight was how good they want to be,” Groce said after the game. “Almost everything that we addressed through film, I can in good faith tell you I thought we got better at it tonight.”

Illinois, which shot poorly from three-point range last season, started 6-of-8 from long range and ended up going 9-of-18 on the game.

Below are highlights, courtesy of Illinois Athletics. The Illini return to the floor Nov. 4 against West Chester (Pa.).

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.