Former Ohio assistant basketball coach Jamall Walker followed John Groce to Illinois, and he will be officially hired as soon as this week.

CHAMPAIGN -- Former Ohio assistant basketball coach Jamall Walker followed John Groce to Illinois, and he will be officially hired as soon as this week.

Walker was working in the Illini basketball office Monday. A former assistant at Saint Louis, Arizona, Ball State and Murray State who had two stints at Ohio, Walker is the first addition to Groce's staff after he was hired Thursday. The Saint Louis graduate in a native of Wichita, Kan.

Known for his recruiting contacts in Chicago and the Midwest, Walker was the lead recruiter on D.J. Cooper, the Ohio guard who graduated from Chicago Seton Academy. Cooper led the Bobcats to the Sweet 16 in March by averaging 14.9 points and 5.7 assists last season.

Groce indicated Thursday his staff would have experience recruiting Chicago and strongly hinted Walker would be joining him with the Illini.

John Supinie can be reached at Johnsupinie@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JohnSupinie.