Pirates pick up a point guard|Miguel Paul transfers to with ECU

Published 6:11 pm Friday, May 21, 2010

By Staff
ECU Sports Information
GREENVILLE – East Carolina head basketball coach Jeff Lebo announced on Thursday that Miguel Paul, a member of the basketball team at the University of Missouri the past two years, has been granted a release from his scholarship and will transfer to ECU.
Paul has signed a financial aid agreement as a full scholarship recipient at ECU. He must sit out the 2010-11 season in compliance with NCAA rules regarding transfer student-athletes.
“We are very excited to be able to get a player with Miguel’s skills and experience,” Lebo said. “He has great speed and quickness with the basketball and he can score from the point. He learned a lot of different things at Missouri and I believe he’s going to have impact when he comes in.
“Sitting out is always difficult, but he’ll have the opportunity to utilize this year to get better. He’s going to push our backcourt players in practice and make them better. I think having to go against Miguel everyday in practice is going to be very beneficial for all our perimeter guys, but especially for Brock.”
Paul spent the majority of his time at Missouri as a reserve behind Big XII Defensive Player-of-the-Year J.T. Tiller and all-conference performer Zaire Taylor. He averaged 11.7 minutes in 69 games played behind one of the nation’s premiere backcourts.
“I really feel like ECU is a great fit for me,” Paul said. “I loved my visit and I really liked the atmosphere surrounding the campus. Coach Lebo has a great background and I really believe that he can he help me become the player I want to be.
“It’s going to be hard sitting out this season, but I’m going to work like a pro to get better and make my teammates better. I just want to learn as much as I can so that I can be ready to go next season.”
Paul, a native of Winter Haven, Fla., averaged 3.5 points and 12.1 minutes in 31 games played as a sophomore last season. He shot 38.5 percent (15-39) from behind the arc and compiled an assist-to-turnover ratio of better than 2:1. He also tallied 16 steals in his second season as the Tigers reached their second consecutive NCAA Tournament.
 The 6-foot-1, 175-pound guard posted career-high numbers in several categories last season. He dropped in a career-best 15 points in 16 minutes against Nebraska, missing just a single field goal and distributed a career-best six assists in 14 minutes versus Oregon. His best all-around floor came at Missouri came against Chattanooga where he scored 14 points, handed out five assists and made three steals in 21 minutes.
As a freshman, Paul helped the Tigers capture the 2009 Big XII Tournament title and advance to the Elite Eight.
He enjoyed a great prep career at Kathleen High School, culminating with back-to-back appearances at in the state championship game as a junior and senior. Paul was named one of the nation’s Top 150 prospects by ESPN.com and was listed as a Top15 point guard recruit. He received scholarship offers from Clemson, Memphis, Miami (Fla.), South Florida and St. John’s.