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Groce: Beckman needs more time

3-9-07 Staff mug shot Herb Gould. phoby Jean Lachat/Sun-Times

3-9-07 Staff mug shot of Herb Gould. photo by Jean Lachat/Sun-Times

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Updated: November 27, 2012 11:10AM

Illini basketball coach John Groce and his family have become close with football coach Tim Beckman and his family. Which makes Groce especially sympathetic to the heat Beckman is feeling.

‘‘I want to remind everybody that Coach is in Year 1,’’ Groce said Thursday at Big Ten basketball media day. ‘‘He’s seven games in. Rome wasn’t built in a day.’’

Groce also said Beckman’s short honeymoon doesn’t have him fretting about a similar fate if his team gets off to a slow start.

‘‘You must have a thick skin in this profession,’’ Groce said. ‘‘I tell our players, ‘Regardless of what’s said and written, you’re not scum [when things aren’t going well]. And no matter how much they pat you on the back, you’re not a rock star. It’s somewhere in the middle.’ ’’

Prepare to shoot, Drew

Big Ten scoring champion John Shurna (20 ppg) is gone, but Northwestern coach Bill Carmody is giving Drew Crawford (16.1, sixth in Big Ten) the green light to fill Shurna’s scoring role.

‘‘I told Shurna last year, ‘Any shot you take is a good shot,’ ’’ Carmody said. ‘‘That’s what I’m telling Crawford: ‘Don’t worry about it. There are no bad shots.’ He’s a good decision-maker. He has to have that freedom. He may have deferred to John a little bit last year.’’

Crawford showed his maturity by missing media day to take a midterm exam.

Elston out

Indiana’s Derek Elston will undergo surgery Friday on his left knee to repair a meniscus tear suffered at IU’s Hoosier Hysteria opening practice Saturday. The senior forward is expected to be out six to eight weeks.

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