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John Groce has been basketball coach at Illinois since spring but he's really only had his team together on the court a handful of times.

That means there's still a lot he doesn't know about the Illini. The regular season starts Nov. 9 against Colgate.

Groce isn't sure yet how well his players will allow him to run the up-tempo offense he prefers. And he isn't sure how he'll fill in for big man Meyers Leonard. Leonard left early for the NBA.

Groce says all that will change as practices begin in earnest this weekend.

Groce brought in 6-8 transfer Sam McLaurin from Coastal Carolina to help replace Leonard. And he'll lean heavily on sophomore point guard Tracy Abrams.

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