May 31, 2014, 6:46 PM EDT
With off-court issues resulting in Illinois head coach John Groce’s decision to suspend him for the entire 2014-15 season, forward Darius Paul had a decision to make: remain in Champaign and sit out a second consecutive season after transferring in from Western Michigan, or move on to another program with the hope of playing this coming year.
According to multiple reports Paul chose the latter path, signing a National Letter of Intent to join the program at Lamar State College-Port Arthur in Port Arthur, Texas. Paul, the younger brother of former Illinois guard Brandon Paul, will have two years of Division I eligibility following the 2014-15 season as he played just one year at Western Michigan.
In that season Paul was a productive player for the Broncos, averaging 10.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game and earning MAC Freshman of the Year honors. Given that production Paul was expected to contribute this season for Illinois, whose most experienced front court player is rising senior Nnanna Egwu.
Illinois also returns sophomores Maverick Morgan and Austin Colbert, with Leron Black and Michael Finke joining the program this summer.
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