Illinois Basketball: Five Illini Head Coach Options for 2017

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NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Chicago Bulls
NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Chicago Bulls /

Fred Hoiberg

A long shot, but someone similar to Lovie Smith in the NBA would be Fred Hoiberg.  Let me explain my mindset on this option.

Hoiberg is the current head coach of the Chicago Bulls.  He was two games over .500 in year one with the Bulls and is currently one game under .500 this season.

The Bulls have a lot of turmoil on that team as well.  Players are fighting with players and the chemistry is just not there.  There have also been reports of Hoiberg being on the hot seat as well.

So, the only way this option would work is if Hoiberg is let go before the season ends for the NBA.

Illinois will need to make a quick hire and the NBA season is a lot longer than the college basketball season.

This actually could happen sometime after the All-Star break.  I have seen it before many times.

If Hoiberg is available he will be looking for a coaching job and the NBA was a bad experience.  I assume he would want to go back to college.

In addition to wanting to coach college again, Hoiberg wouldn’t have to move his family if he coached the Illini.

Hoiberg would be a good coaching candidate too.  He was successful with Iowa State taking them to four straight NCAA Tournaments and winning two conference tournaments as well.

High school players are looking for ways to get to the NBA and Hoiberg played professional basketball.  That is another benefit to hiring him.

So, Hoiberg has coaching experience at both levels, he can recruit, he has been successful in college, and people are familiar with him in and around the Chicago area.

Next: Illini are Trending Toward Last in the Big Ten

If Hoiberg is available, I think Josh Whitman should at least put out a feeler to see if he would be interested.  I would take him in a heartbeat.