For the longest time, people were doubting Coach Weber's ability to bring in the kind of players that could get the Illini back to the NCAA title game. Nothing can guarantee a long run in the NCAA Tournament, but having quality depth and great athletes on board certainly helps the cause.
Paul, along with D.J. Richardson and Joseph Bertrand, all loved the atmosphere during Illini Madness, which opened the college basketball season. "I thought it was really exciting and all the things that came with it. Believe it or not, it was my first time being here. It's all great, I'm just taking it all in," Paul added.
Brandon is very excited to play alongside his future teammates and to try and help the Illini win championships. Paul also knows the kind of coach he is going to play for and what he's getting himself into. "I'm not really surprised that all these guys committed. I mean last year he lost a couple, but he's a great coach and he's going to do a good job at Illinois. He's proven it now by getting verbals from three of the top guards in the state. We should be pretty good once we all get there," stated Paul.
It is not unusual for these high-profile athletes to get advice from everyone under the sun prior to making a commitment, nor is it unusual for others to be critical of the decision after it's made. However, Paul's teachers and classmates are extremely happy that he will be playing for the Illini. "School has been great, all of my classmates and teachers were congratulating me. It was just really nice, all of it. When I was growing up, Illinois was always my dream school so it was nice to get the offer from them when they were in the finals a few years ago. It just made thing easier for me. I really don't want to say what other people should do, but I really don't see how anyone from the state of Illinois could pass up a great school like Illinois. People have to right to go where they want and a lot of them do. But me, D.J. and Joe, we wanted to be here and I'm glad about my decision and their's," said Brandon.
Paul knew a lot about the University of Illinois even before he came for a visit, as his brother is already enrolled as a student. "I think Illinois is a great school, I like the idea of being able to play in front of my home crowd. It helps that my brother is here, and we're close, so that all helped me with my decision. Illinois has a great campus and the basketball program is doing great things too, I made the right choice," said Paul.
We plan to keep you updated throughout the season on all of Illinois' recent verbal commitments, so stay tuned.