Paul earns National Player of the Week honors
December 11, 2012, 3:42 pm
The Illini keep winning, and Brandon Paul does, too.
After being named the Big Ten Conference Player of the Week yesterday, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association selected Paul as the Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week.
Paul averaged 24.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.5 blocks in Illinois' two wins last week, which pushed it to a perfect 10-0 on the season.
A 14-point effort in a win over Western Carolina on Tuesday helped, but what brought home the award to Champaign this week was Paul's 35 points in an 85-74 upset win over No. 10 Gonzaga on Saturday. Paul connected on 10-of-16 shots, including five 3's, and added four rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks in the win.
It was the Illini's first road win over a non-conference Big Ten opponent since 1986, and helped John Groce's group move up to No. 10 in the AP Top 25 poll.
Paul was also named the National Player of the Week by the USBWA after his 43-point outing in a 79-74 upset of No. 5 Ohio State last season.
Paul's 19.5 points per game are second in the Big Ten, behind only Ohio State's Deshaun Thomas (20.6). He and teammate D.J. Richardson both have hit a league-best 28 3-pointers, and Paul also ranks eighth in assists and 12th in steals in the conference.
, Brandon Paul
, John Groce
, Western Carolina