Chicago Bulls: Illinois Fighting Illini

Former Illini Paul set for 2nd Bulls workout

June, 24, 2013
Powers By Scott Powers

Former Illinois guard Brandon Paul has been invited to a second workout with the Chicago Bulls on Monday prior to the NBA draft, according to Paul’s mother.

Paul, a 6-foot-4, 201-pound shooting guard, has previously worked out for the Bulls, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets and New York Knicks leading up to the draft on Thursday. He most recently worked out with the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

ESPN NBA draft analyst Chad Ford has Paul ranked No. 70 on his top-100 draft list and expects Paul to either be drafted in the second round or go undrafted.

The Bulls select in the first round at No. 20 overall and in the second round at No. 49 overall.

According to a league source, Paul has the potential to be drafted in the second round because of his shooting ability.

“The draft is right around the NBA Finals, and if you’re a wing player and not a shooter in the last couple of years, it’s been hard to get on the floor in the NBA Finals unless you’re someone like Tony Allen or a defensive freak,” the source said.

“Listen, everyone missed on [San Antonio Spurs guard] Gary Neal. When [general managers] miss on guys in the NBA, they’re oversensitive when another player like that comes around. They don’t want to miss a second time. [Paul] was a top-five, top-seven [player] in the Big Ten and can shoot it. They want to make sure he’s not overlooked.”

Paul averaged 16.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 steals and shot 40.1 percent from the field and 32.5 percent from 3-point range during his senior season at Illinois last year. He scored 35 points on 10-of-16 shooting in a win over Gonzaga as a senior and had 43 points on 11-of-15 shooting against Ohio State as a junior.

Paul grew up in the Chicago suburb of Gurnee, Ill., and was selected as Illinois’ Mr. Basketball out of Warren High School in 2009.

Thibodeau impressed by Illini's Groce

October, 12, 2012
Powers By Scott Powers
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Illinois fans aren’t the only ones expecting first-year coach John Groce to quickly turn the Illini basketball program around.

Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is also anticipating the same.

“I think he’s going to do a terrific job,” Thibodeau sair prior to the Bulls' 86-83 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers at Assembly Hall on Friday. “He’s got a lot of energy. It seems like he’s ready for the challenge.”

Thibodeau ran into Groce while in Las Vegas this summer, and they talked for a bit.

“He was just getting started with recruiting and stuff,” Thibodeau said. “I was very impressed with him. I think he’s proved to be a great coach, and (the Big Ten) is a great conference, and I think he’ll have a great opportunity.”

Groce texted that he also enjoyed meeting Thibodeau.

“I have a lot of respect for coach Thibodeau,” Groce texted. “His teams play together and are extremely hard to score against.”

Groce was hired by Illinois in March after Bruce Weber was fired. Groce spent the previous four years at Ohio and took the Bobcats to two NCAA Tournaments, including a trip to the Sweet 16.

McCamey out to impress in summer league

July, 10, 2012
Powers By Scott Powers
Former Illinois point guard Demetri McCamey might be wearing a Chicago Bulls' uniform during the NBA summer league, but his goal is to impress every team, his agent said on Tuesday.

[+] EnlargeDemetrius McCamey
AP photo/John DixonFormer Illinois guard Demetri McCamey spent last season playing in Turkey and Israel.
McCamey, who was a four-year starter at Illinois, went undrafted in 2011 and played last season in Israel and Turkey. The NBA didn’t hold a summer league last summer due to its lockout.

The Bulls begin their summer league schedule in Las Vegas on July 17 and will play five games over six days.

“This is just an opportunity for him,” McCamey’s agent Roger Montgomery said. “Nothing is perfect. We recognize it’s what you make of it. It’s just the summer league. The summer league doesn’t mean you have a job. Whether you play for the Bulls who need a point guard, or play for the Orlando Magic who will be shuffling their roster and may see something they like, however it shakes out, you want to play well and earn an opportunity.

“He totally understands the situation. He embraces it. He’s excited. He’s eager to go out and really show people what they missed in the draft and also prove to himself he can do it and he was overlooked. I think he’s going to do it.”

McCamey declined an interview request through Montgomery and said he wanted to focus on his upcoming NBA opportunity.

Playing for the Bulls in the summer league will be unique for McCamey. He played at St. Joseph High School in the Chicago western suburb of Westchester and graduated the same year as Bulls guard Derrick Rose. They faced each other during their senior seasons in high school.

Rose is expected to miss a significant portion of the 2012-2013 season after tearing his ACL in last season’s playoffs.

To help fill Rose’s void, the Bulls drafted former Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague and are expected to add guard Kirk Hinrich in free agency. reported Sunday that Hinrich has verbally committed the Bulls. The Bulls could still be searching for another point guard until Rose returns.

Montgomery believes McCamey can play in the NBA and has developed as a player since his final season at Illinois.

“Two things that stand out are his motor is much higher than it was when he was in college, and I think he’s getting to the basket better and not just solely relying on his jump shot,” Montgomery said. “He can shoot the ball. He needed to get to the basket and know when to attack and when to use his jump shot.”

A look back at Chicago's sports in 2011.

Evan Turner drops in on Illini

October, 15, 2011
Powers By Scott Powers
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Philadelphia 76ers guard Evan Turner will officially begin feeling the impact of the NBA lockout after Saturday.

"Today is the last day (for my paychecks)," said Turner, who was visiting his former AAU teammate Sam Maniscalco at Illinois' scrimmage Saturday. "Then, I'll start taking donations."

Read the entire story.



Jimmy Butler
20.4 3.2 1.8 39.7
ReboundsP. Gasol 11.8
AssistsD. Rose 4.9
StealsJ. Butler 1.8
BlocksP. Gasol 2.2