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Illinois' Brandon Paul ranked among top 100 players

Illinois' Brandon Paul is one of three Chicago-area players ranked in CBS Sports' preseason list of the top 100 players.

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Illinois Fightining Illini senior guard Brandon Paul was included on CBS Sports' preseason list of the top 100 players in country.

Paul, who averaged 14.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game last season, was ranked as the No. 77 player heading into the 2012-13 season. Paul increased his scoring, rebounding and assist numbers last season. He's one of several players from the Big Ten to make the list, including the No. 1 player, Cody Zeller.

Here is what CBS Sports had to say about Paul:

Because of shoulder injuries last season, Blackshear didn't get a chance to show his potential. When healthy, he's a physical wing scorer who can drive to the rim or get points in the mid-range.

Paul wasn't the only Chicago-area player to make the list, as Wayne Blackshear and D.J. Cooper also made the list. Blackshear, a sophomore at Louisville, was ranked No. 47 despite averaging just 2.5 points per game last season. He was limited last season with a shoulder injury, and CBS Sports expects a breakout season now that he's healthy.

This in-state product is one of the nice pieces Bruce Weber left behind. Good player even though he's never shot even 40 percent from the field.

Cooper, a senior guard at Ohio, checked in at No. 74 on CBS Sports' list. Cooper has career averages of 14.7 points and 5.7 assists per game. He was an integral part of Ohio's run to the Sweet 16 last season.

One of savviest, best pure point guards in college basketball. You remember his team; it went to the Sweet 16 last March and took UNC to overtime.