Orange 'Hush'

CHAMPAIGN - The Illinois student section devised a special way to usher in the John Groce Era Friday night.

Labeled the Orange Krush, the group organized what it's calling the Orange Hush for the season opener against Colgate. The plan is to remain silent from tip-off until the Illini score their 10th point, upon which everyone in the crowd is encouraged to erupt in emotional cheering.

The activity is a tribute to a tradition at Taylor University, Groce's alma mater and where the idea originated.

"I'm flattered and honored that they would basically honor Taylor University and welcome me and my family in that way," Groce said.

Krush members ask that all fans refrain from cheering or clapping until the 10th Illini point is scored. After that, fans should follow suit with the student section and cheer and applaud.

Groce played three seasons at Taylor, an NAIA school in Upland, Ind. The team compiled a 90-16 record while Groce was a player, including a trip to the NAIA Final Four in his freshman season. He also got his coaching start at Taylor, serving as assistant for three seasons, and earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the school.

"I tell people all the time, if I had a chance to do college all over I'd go right back," he said. "It's a really special place. I met a lot of great people there."

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