Josh Whitman introduced the new head coach of the Illini, Brad Underwood.
At Oklahoma State, Underwood led the eighth-most prolific scoring team (85.7) and eighth-best 3-point shooting percentage (40.2 percent).
“I get it”, Bilas said.
Evans reportedly said after the first-round exit in the NCAA tournament that “most likely, I’ll be back”.
Underwood owes Oklahoma State $2 million for leaving before the end of his five-year deal. Oddly enough, Underwood had replaced Billikens head basketball coach Travis Ford at Oklahoma State, when Ford came to SLU one year ago.
So what was Oklahoma State offering? In 1988 Underwood got his first head coaching gig at Dodge City Community College, he then spent 10 years as an assistant at Western Illinois before a three-year stint as head coach of Daytona Beach Community College.
As for IL, the program recently fired John Groce from the head coaching position.
IL won Big Ten titles under previous coaches Bill Self and Bruce Weber and reached the national title game in 2005 under Weber.
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Underwood’s contract will reportedly span six years for an estimated $18 million. In the last two weeks he was in negotiation with Holder on a raise, even a new contract. The NCAA Tournament is something that has eluded the Illini, with the team failing to make it to the tourney the past four seasons.
Underwood played his collegiate ball for Kansas State. That includes beating OSU in 2014 (McGraw is now the Baylor Golf head coach). I think if you get the talent, which right now with the #9 recruiting class in the country, a very good coach, I think it has a very, very high ceiling. So when indications led us in other directions during the last week, Underwood’s name didn’t reappear until this morning.
According to The Oklahomans Berry Tramel, no.
That’s what Underwood wanted from OSU and what Holder couldn’t deliver.
I would read the full Tramel interview before making an opinion. “All I ask, you think about the financial challenges I laid out for you, that I face, and I’ll do the same for you”. On the flip. Holder is supposed to be a good negotiator. More than Walker, though, recruits should love playing for an offensive coach like Underwood, and it’s fairly remarkable Josh Whitman was able to scoop him up.
We will continue to follow this story as it develops.