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National media reacts to Illinois Basketball’s hiring of Brad Underwood

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Negative reactions were hard to find after Josh Whitman announced the next Illini hoops head coach Saturday afternoon.

Local and national media members expect Brad Underwood, pictured with Josh Whitman, to bring Illini basketball back to relevance.
Josh Whitman / Fighting Illini Athletics

Illinois Basketball’s hiring of now-former Oklahoma State head coach Brad Underwood made Twitter waves among members of the national media Saturday afternoon.

Several college basketball writers lauded Josh Whitman’s selection, citing Underwood’s powerful offense (Ranking No. 1 in the country this season per KenPom).

Former Illinois coach Bill Self added some positive thoughts of his own, and Illinois bloggers and fans seemed excited by the prospect of upgrading the coaching staff’s X’s and O’s.

Also chiming in with almost universally positive reactions were several Big Ten school bloggers. Many were jealous, particularly of Underwood’s fast-paced style of play.

Questions remain about how high school recruits and Illinois’ current players will react to Underwood’s hiring — he’s a relatively unknown coach who spent only one year at a major conference program — but one thing’s for sure: those who cover college basketball closely think Illinois got away with an absolute steal.