Illinois Basketball: With change inevitable, Illini fans should enjoy Walker run

Mar 2, 2016; Richmond, VA, USA; An official ball bounces on the court during a stoppage in play in the game between the Virginia Commonwealth Rams and the Davidson Wildcats during the second half at Stuart Siegel Center. The Rams won 70-60. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2016; Richmond, VA, USA; An official ball bounces on the court during a stoppage in play in the game between the Virginia Commonwealth Rams and the Davidson Wildcats during the second half at Stuart Siegel Center. The Rams won 70-60. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports /
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Rumors are running rampant about who will be the next head coach of the Illinois basketball team.

I have heard everyone from the middle of the pack mid-major head coaches to NBA coaches trying to get back into the game. It is starting to get ridiculous, yet quite fun, hearing all the rumors of who is going to fill this high honor.

But last night I was asked a question that I have thought about a few times. Would Jamall Walker have any chance of getting the head coach job permanently? When thinking about the answer, I think it is fairly clear that he won’t get the job.

My reasoning on why Walker won’t get the job has two tiers. The first tier is qualifications and the second tier is timing.

In tier one, I look at if Walker is qualified for the position or not. He hasn’t been a head coach at any other college program and the win against Valparaiso was his first game as an interim head coach. In addition to the lack of head coaching experience, Walker was a part of the previous regime as well.

The John Groce era missed the NCAA tournament four straight years and whether or not it is fair; Walker was part of that era and was brought on by Groce. We don’t have a big enough sample size to give Walker the job and Illinois can’t afford to potentially have a Groce 2.0 as the head coach.

The second tier is, will the timing be right to get the job? Well, I think the only way Walker has a chance of being retained as the head coach of this team is if he wins the NIT. That would mean that the head coaching search would go through March 30.

I feel like one of the top candidates out there in the NCAA tournament right now would be done by then because that is the Final 4 and National Championship weekend. I assume that the coaching job would already be filled by then.

Last night was fun to see Illinois playing well under Walker. He really got them to respond and I hope they continue making a run in the NIT because the more Illini basketball the better.

Next: Final top 5 coaches to replace John Groce

But, let’s step back and just enjoy what we are watching right now. This is a team that won’t be the same come next season. There will be some new players and a new head coach.