Illini Brandon Paul wins national player of the week award

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The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has selected Illinois guard Brandon Paul as its Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week for games ending the week of Sunday, Dec. 9. The USBWA’s weekly honor is presented by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and will be handed out each Tuesday through Feb. 19 this season.

As the Big Ten Conference Player of the Week, Paul was nominated for the weekly award, which was chosen by a representative of the USBWA board of directors from a list of Division I conference players of the week.

Paul, a 6-4 senior from Gurnee, Ill., averaged 24.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 1.5 blocks in two games. Paul exploded for a season-high 35 points in an 85-74 win at No. 10 Gonzaga last Saturday, hitting 10-16 from the field, including 5-9 from three-point range, and 10-11 from the free throw line. He also added four rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks as the Illini defeated a non-conference, top-10 opponent on the road for the first time since 1986. Paul also scored 14 points in a 72-64 win over Western Carolina last Tuesday.

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