It seems that the Illini basketball coaching drama isn’t over just yet. Barely a month after I reported that Isaac Chew was leaving Missouri to join John Groce and the rest of the Illini family, he has already jumped ship and will be heading to Marquette.
Apparently Chew and Marquette HC Buzz Williams are friends, and according to the Chicago Sun Times, Chew will be getting a big salary bump. The article also states that Chew originally turned down the position, but I guess for some reason he changed his mind?
Keep in mind that he must have already gotten a bump when he joined Illinois a month ago, which happened just a year after he joined the Missouri staff. Clearly this guy is both loyal and good at making decisions.
So now we have to wonder, is there something going on that we don’t know about? Does Chew have inside information and wanted to jump ship? Is he not getting along with Groce? Is he convinced this team is going nowhere and wanted to join a school that wasn’t in the midst of a huge overhaul? Sure, it’s easy to be an assistant at a program that is going up rather than one that is sort of stagnant, but like I said about a certain VCU coach if he doesn’t want a challenge then we don’t want him.
Let’s face it, I feel betrayed. Chew was supposed to be Groce’s inroads into the big bad mean scary jungle of the Chicago Public School system, and after spending a month on the road making friends and meeting recruits, he’s just going to pull up roots and head somewhere else? Were we essentially paying him to recruit for Marquette?
Thanks for wasting our time, buddy. Not only is he making our program look bad (which we don’t need) but in my opinion he’s making himself look bad. Though I’m guessing our Marquette blogger Mary over at The Gold Rush probably wouldn’t agree.
This is an annoying turn of events, but it certainly isn’t THAT big of a deal. Chew spent just one year with Missouri, and if he’s the recruiting guy we really aren’t going to know if he’s any good for another few years since the great year the Tigers just finished had nothing to do with him. And, I see no reason not to blame him for the Missouri meltdown collapse in the first round of the Tournament.
We don’t really know what we lost so it isn’t that big a deal, but he certainly isn’t leaving behind a lot of friends in Champaign. On to the next one as we wait and see who Groce will pick to take his place. Then we’ll all be saying, “Isaac who?”