November 17, 2010
Brandon Paul's shot selection remains a major work in progress, but the Illinois guard certainly knows how to finish when he gets around the rim.
Southern Illinois forward Carlton Fay found that out the hard way on Saturday when he was late to rotate over after Paul cut to the basket. The 6-foot-4 Paul takes a pass from teammate D.J. Richardson, explodes toward the rim and hammers a one-handed dunk down over the outstretched arms of the 6-foot-8 Fay.
It's crucial for Illinois that Paul continues to attack the rim because he became too reliant on his outside shot as a freshman. He shot only 33.3 percent from the floor as a freshman and 27.9 percent from behind the arc, but he's taken steps toward correcting that problem so far as a sophomore.
Paul is 13 of 22 from the floor in three games and has also averaged 3.0 assists and 2.7 steals in 20 minutes per game off the bench. He's played so well in Illinois' first three games that assistant coaches have been pestering Bruce Weber to start him, though for now Weber seems to like Paul's spark coming off the bench.