House of ‘Paign adds three more players for $1 million tournament, headlined by Brandon Paul | Illini

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A lot has happened since the Illini basketball season ended, from player transfers to assistant coaching changes. Check out this video to get caught up.











House of ‘Paign, the Illinois alumni team that will compete in The Basketball Tournament for a $1 million prize this summer, hinted at a big announcement Thursday on Twitter.

“9am CT tomorrow morning….Get Ready,” the team tweeted.

As promised, House of ‘Paign delivered Friday by announcing former Illini star Brandon Paul as the tenth member of its squad. Paul has had an extensive professional career since graduating from Illinois in 2013, including a 64-game stint with the San Antonio Spurs during the 2017-18 season.

The 6-foot-4 guard is one of the most beloved Illini players of the 2010s, and his resume speaks for itself. Paul ranks ninth all-time in program history with 1,654 points during his college career. He started in 89 of 138 games from 2009-13, averaging 12.0 points, 2.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game.






Paul

Illinois’ Brandon Paul (3) drives against Eastern Kentucky in the first half in 2012. Paul is among the latest additions to the House of ‘Paign TBT team.




Paul had a breakout season as a senior in 2012-13, averaging a career-high 16.6 points per game while leading Illinois to an NCAA Tournament berth.

House of ‘Paign also announced the addition of former Illini guard Jaylon Tate and former Northwestern guard Michael “Juice” Thompson on Thursday. Paul, Tate and Thompson will join former Illinois players Leron Black, Nnanna Egwu, Andres Feliz, Demetri McCamey, Kipper Nichols and Rayvonte Rice, as well as former South Dakota State star Mike Daum.

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Tate, who is 6-3, started in 35 of 121 games for the Illini from 2013-17, averaging 2.4 points, 2.5 assists and 1.2 rebounds per game. He most recently played 11 games for Swans Gmunden in the Austrian Basketball Bundesliga, averaging 9.5 points, 5.3 assists and 2.2 rebounds per game en route to the 2021 league championship.

Thompson, a Chicago native, started in all 129 games at Northwestern from 2007-11. He averaged 13.1 points per game and shot 40.9% from behind the arc for the Wildcats.

The 5-10 guard spent the 2020-21 season playing for BK Astana, which competes in the Kazakhstan Basketball Championship and the VTB United league. Thompson averaged 16.3 points, 5.5 assists and 3.3 rebounds, and 14.2 points, 6.0 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game, respectively, in each league.

House of ‘Paign, whose coach and general manager is former Illinois guard Mike LaTulip, will begin its quest for $1 million in the 64-team TBT on July 24 at Carver Arena in Peoria. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m., and the game will be televised on ESPN.

Last year, House of ‘Paign advanced to the quarterfinals in its TBT debut. 

Follow James Boyd on Twitter: @RomeovilleKid

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