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MAC Freshman of the Year Darius Paul transferring from Western Michigan

Apr 25, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT

CBI N Dakota St W Michigan Basketball AP

Western Michigan coaches got quite a shock on Tuesday when Darius Paul, a 6-foot-8 freshman that averaged 10.4 points and 5.7 boards en route to the MAC Freshman of the Year award, told the staff that he was transferring out of the program.

“I had no idea this was coming. Darius came to me (Monday) afternoon and we sat down and had a long visit, then he told me what was on my mind,” Broncos coach Steve Hawkins told MLive.com. Paul had even signed a lease for an apartment in Kalamazoo for the 2013-2014 school year.

Paul, an Illinois native and the younger brother of former Illini star Brandon Paul, hinted at “recent events” convincing him to transfer in that MLive.com story, and a follow-up may bring to light exactly what the motivating factor was.

“There are four Illinois schools that have reached out this morning. I’m going to leave it at that,” his mother, Lynda, told MLive.com. She continued:

“What if ESPN calls you? You get your resume ready and based on your production, based on your preparation, you feel like you’re ready.”

[...]

“I’m just telling all the people who call, we’re looking for a high-major program where Darius can be an elite player; where he’ll have an opportunity to be an elite player,” Lynda Paul said. “He’s 6-9, 225 (pounds); he’s got 4 or 5 percent body fat. He’s already got an elite body. He’s just looking for a place to be an elite player.”

Darius looks like he’s heading to a bigger program.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

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