February 13, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Providence Friars head coach Ed Cooley reacts against the South Florida Bulls during the first half at the Sun Dome. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Providence Recruit Focus: Brandon Austin


Profile:

Position:  Small Forward

Size:  6-foot-6 185 pounds

High School and Travel Team:  Imhotep Institute Charter High School and Team Philly

Recruit rankings:

ESPN’s 56th ranked recruit and 12th ranked SF

Rivals.com’s 45th ranked recruit and 8th ranked SF

247Sports.com’s 47th ranked recruit and 12th ranked SF

Scout.com’s 39th ranked recruit and 9th ranked SF

Strengths:

Austin is a versatile 3 man who is lengthy at 6-foot-6 with long arms. A one-time point guard before he grew to his current height, he has been labeled as a ‘point forward’ given his excellent ball handling and distributing abilities. He is a very good penetrator and slasher and welcomes contact, which has only made him more dangerous as he has grown taller. His jump shot has continued to improve and he is seen as an effortless scorer whether creating off the dribble or hitting knock-down jumpers.  He has range out to the 3-point arc and can create his own shots.

Weaknesses:

Austin had been seen as an inconsistent shooter during his recruitment process, but all reports over the summer suggest that is no longer the case. His defense has also been a noted concern. But that seems to be more of an effort thing and not a product of his actual ability. His offensive talents may have let him get away with it at the high school and AAU level, but I’m guessing he’ll realize early on that’s no longer the case in the college game. His combination of size, speed and long arms make him an ideal defender.  Defense shouldn’t be a concern.  

How he will fit in:

Upon his commitment to PC, coach Cooley stated that Austin was the type of player that the offense could run through. If that’s the case, Austin could be starting at the 3 spot from day one. Josh Fortune started at that position last year as a freshman for the first 17 games, but was then removed and saw his playing time slashed by 15 minutes or so per game. And with the arrival of Rodney Bullock and transfer Tyler Harris, who could both play the position, you would have to assume that Cooley is excited for his options and depth after last year’s thin squad. Nonetheless, Austin is likely the most talented and gives the Friars their most dangerous look. If he doesn’t end up starting immediately, he will definitely be a significant contributor in the rotation.

Highlight video:

Tags: Basketball Big East Brandon Austin Providence Friars