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Suspended Illinois forward Darius Paul signs with Lamar State College-Port Arthur

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With off-court issues resulting in Illinois head coach John Groce’s decision to suspend him for the entire 2014-15 season, forward Darius Paul had a decision to make: remain in Champaign and sit out a second consecutive season after transferring in from Western Michigan, or move on to another program with the hope of playing this coming year.

According to multiple reports Paul chose the latter path, signing a National Letter of Intent to join the program at Lamar State College-Port Arthur in Port Arthur, Texas. Paul, the younger brother of former Illinois guard Brandon Paul, will have two years of Division I eligibility following the 2014-15 season as he played just one year at Western Michigan.

In that season Paul was a productive player for the Broncos, averaging 10.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game and earning MAC Freshman of the Year honors. Given that production Paul was expected to contribute this season for Illinois, whose most experienced front court player is rising senior Nnanna Egwu.

Illinois also returns sophomores Maverick Morgan and Austin Colbert, with Leron Black and Michael Finke joining the program this summer.

Henry Ellenson wins Marquette Madness dunk contest

Steve Wojciechowski
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Marquette freshman forward Henry Ellenson won the Marquette Madness slam dunk contest on Friday night with a between the legs dunk.

The 6-foot-10 Ellenson, the top recruit in Steve Wojciechowski’s freshmen class, defeated sophomore Sandy Cohen, fellow freshman Sacar Anim and Wally Ellenson, his older brother.

Ellenson joins the Golden Eagles as the No. 11 overall recruit in the Class of 2015.

Bill Self signs $10,000 check for KU student


Late Night in the Phog is typically a night to remember for Kansas fans. For Kansas student Jerrod Martin Castro, Friday night’s event is one he won’t forget.

Castro, a sophomore, was selected as a contestant for a $10,000 giveaway. The only thing standing in the way of a big payday was a half-court shot. Brennan Bechard, the Kansas director of basketball operations, attempted the long-distance shot and hit nothing but net.

Kansas head coach Bill Self signed a $10,000 check on the spot.