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Caris LeVert would be at Illinois if John Groce had picked up the phone

Mar 3, 2014, 1:00 PM EST

Caris LeVert Getty Images

Caris LeVert has been tearing up the Big Ten this season, averaging 13.4 points as one of the nation’s most improved sophomores.

He’s been terrific, carrying the Wolverines at times when Nik Stauskas has struggled. Beilein has called him his most indispensable player.

The craziest part about it is that LeVert wasn’t even supposed to be at Michigan. He was supposed to go to Ohio, but backed off of that when then-Bobcat head coach John Groce took over the job at Illinois.

And LeVert would have followed him … if Groce had only picked up the phone and made the call. He never did. From Brendan Quinn of MLive.com:

According to LeVert, Illinois assistant coach Dustin Ford called him about a week after Groce took the Illinois job. He told LeVert that Groce would be reaching out shortly to discuss Illinois.

The call never came.

A few days later, on May 11, 2012, LeVert committed to Michigan during an official visit.

“I haven’t ever talked to (Groce), except for, like, ‘Good game,’ and stuff like that after (last year’s game),” LeVert said.

Michigan swept the Illini last season. They play them again on Tuesday.