Illinois Fighting Illini guard Brandon Paul was among the players included on the Wooden Award preseason top 50 list, which was unveiled on Thursday. The Wooden Award is given to the most outstanding player in college basketball at the end of every season. Freshmen and transfer students are not eligible for the preseason list, but can be added at a later time and still win the award.
Paul will be a senior for the Fighting Illini this year. Last season, he averaged 14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. Paul had an inconsistent season, but had some huge games for the Illini, including a 43 point performance in a Jan. 10, 2012 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Last year, Illinois finished 17-15, going 6-12 in the Big Ten. During the offseason, they fired coach Bruce Weber and brought in John Groce, who had spent the last four seasons as the head coach of the Ohio Bobcats.