Madison: "Hopefully Darius will mature."

Published 06/02 2014 04:21PM

Updated 06/03 2014 10:36PM

PORT ARTHUR, Tex. - Darius Paul's new head coach at Lamar State - Port Arthur, Lance Madison, says he's excited to have suspended Illini forward Darius Paul join his team, and his main goal is to help Paul improve as both a person and a player.

"Darius made some poor decisions," Madison said.  "And I think part of his process being here is developing some personal growth.  Hopefully Darius will mature as a person and make good decisions.  We want him to be successful, and we're going to try to give him all the resources to be a successful student here at Lamar State."

Paul was suspended from the Illinois program for the entire 2014-2015 season after he failed two drug tests for marijuana and was arrested for underage drinking and resisting a peace officer.  The latter charge was dropped after Paul pleaded guilty to underage drinking.  Madison says his prior relationship with coaches on Illinois' staff made his school a good fit for Paul.

"I'm a midwest guy, and I've had a prior relationship with the head coach there John Groce and assistant coach Jamall Walker," Madison said.  "We worked together at Redlands Community College in Oklahoma.  They trust me, and they believe in the program that we run down here.  Fortunate for us, Darius came available, and we're excited to have him."

Paul is eligible to play immediately at LSC-PA for one season.  He would then have two years of Division-I eligibility left.

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