Underwood leaves Oklahoma State for IL

Illinois names Oklahoma State's Brad Underwood as new head coach

Last spring saw Oklahoma State basketball knock out its coaching search out of the park when they hired Brad Underwood from Stephen F. Austin.

Holder, who says the basketball program has been cash-strapped since 2009, offered Underwood $2.2 million a year with the promise of reaching $3 million in five years.

But finally, after more than a decade, IL looks like it might have hired a good coach, in its flagship sport of basketball.

Underwood's teams play an aggressive style.

"Anytime, we went into the Assembly Hall (now the State Farm Center), coach Underwood would talk about how awesome that place was back then, " Jones said. He was on the Iba coaching tree, had midwestern values, and seemed the ideal fit.

While Underwood grew up in McPherson, Kan., and he played collegiate basketball at Kansas State, his coaching roots have been firmly planted in Illinois after spending 10 years as an assistant coach at Western Illinois (1993-2003) under Jim Kerwin.

"There's no question that Brad Underwood's teams have a strong identity", said Whitman. "We have to do this together". The Cowboys ranked eighth nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (.402) and fourth in the country in offensive rebounding percentage (.383). IL or Underwood also must pay $3 million to OSU, per Underwood's contract with the university. The Broncos shot 0 of 14 from long range in the second half.

"I believe in winning every game possible".

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"Coaching basketball at the University of IL is a once-in-lifetime opportunity", Underwood said. "The players, fans and administration at Oklahoma State have been absolutely incredible, and I want to thank them for the support they've given me and my family over the past year". IL is a heck of a job. I think they look terrific. "Next season can't get here fast enough for me!"

Underwood began his career as head coach in 1988 at Dodge City Community College in Kansas.

He led SFA to a 28-6 overall record and NCAA Round of 32 appearance in 2016.

Both sides are at fault here. His team lost to MI in the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday.

Underwood promised a lot of the exact same things to the Illini faithful as he did to the Cowboy faithful just a year ago. He coached at nearly every level of basketball, from being a two-time junior college coach, to a low-level Division I assistant, to a major Division I assistant to now a low-level head coach and now he's a major Division I head coach.

Jones went on to describe Underwood as a "small-town, blue-collar guy".

Underwood was a Kansas State graduate, and Wildcat fans were hopeful that their school would fire Bruce Weber and figure out a way to hire Underwood, but his contract had a prohibitive buyout clause if he moved to a Big 12 school. Great players. Great coach.

No. 2 seed IL (20-14) will play fourth-seeded Central Florida (23-11) in a quarterfinal. The former Illini star forward, Brian Cook, was a childhood favorite for Underwood.

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