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Not Far From the Tree

Not Far From the Tree

Saturday's meeting between Illinois & Ohio State provides a unique coaching reunion for John Groce and Thad Matta.

CHAMPAIGN - John Groce and Thad Matta, student and teacher, have spoken regularly via telephone since 2008, when Groce left Matta's staff at Ohio State to become a head coach. The subject matter for those conversations shifted just a bit once Groce, who spent eight seasons as an assistant under Matta at Butler, Xavier and Ohio State, left Ohio for Illinois last spring. "It's more personal in...

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