Brandon Paul may be heading to the NBA, but Illini fans will still have a Paul on the team. That is because younger brother, Darius Paul, will be transferring to Illinois from MAC member Western Michigan.
Darius is much bigger than his older brother, playing forward at 6-8 feet and 220 pounds. He attracted a lot of interest from some relatively big time schools after getting a release from his scholarship at Western Michigan. Among other big time suitors for Paul, fellow Big Ten team Nebraska was trying to get Paul’s services. But at the end of the day, it was his brother’s old school that won Paul’s commitment.
Paul was named MAC Freshman Player of The Year last season after averaging over 10 points and five rebounds per game.
Paul will be another big name to enter the program next season, along with highly touted incoming freshmen Jaylon Tate, Kendrick Nunn and Malcolm Hill. However, Paul will be forced to sit out this next season, before having three years of eligibility remaining when he plays in 2014.
This is yet another example of head coach John Groce attracting talented players to Illinois. Groce has the no. 17 recruiting class coming in next season, and the third best in the Big Ten. This past season, although it did not end well, was a strong one for the first year coach, as Illinois won a game in the NCAA Tournament. Groce has continued that success off the court, thanks to a strong recruiting class and now with the younger Paul.