Many Arizona State fans that follow basketball recruiting might not be familiar with the name Craig Austin. A 6-9, 220-pound high school forward/center from Carlsbad, California, Austin is a player the Sun Devil staff has been in constant contact with for many months but for the most part, his recruitment has gone largely unpublicized due to the fact that the program had been involved with several other high profile names that, for one reason or another captured much of the internet media's attention, including DevilsDigest.com.
However, with the recent decision of Lansing, Michigan prospect Goran Suton to remain in state and play for Tom Izzo at Michigan State, the seriousness of Austin's recruitment by the Arizona State staff has reportedly increased markedly. While Austin says he has not, as of yet been offered a scholarship by Rob Evans and his staff, he believe such a decision may come to fruition in the near-term. "They told me they'd let me know in the next week or so," Austin says.
In the meanwhile, Austin says that two other schools are continuing to play a major role in his recruitment. "Santa Clara and San Diego State are the other two I'm really looking at. Santa Clara has offered and [San Diego State] told me they want to see me play a little in the early part of the (high school) season," he says. Austin had been pursued by Bobby Knight at Texas Tech but within the last several weeks the Red Raiders accepted a commitment from Tucson Salpointe high school standout Damir Suljagic, effectively ending the recruitment.
Of his recent trip to the Tempe campus for his official visit with ASU, Austin was able to attend the first Sun Devil practices of the season and get to know his host Brandon Goldman, among others. "It was pretty good. I liked the campus and I got along well with the players. I'd already known the coaches and like them. [They facilities] were amazing. They have to have the best weight room in the country."
A versatile player capable of playing either power forward or center, Austin moves very well on the court and can get out on the break and run in an up-tempo offense. He also sees he court well and is one of the better passing post players on the West coast. He claims to be 6-10 now and weigh in the 220-225 pound range, but he appeared somewhat thin this summer and there is no doubt he has the frame to really develop physically in the coming years. He believes he can bring his weight up into the 240-pound range before college.
Austin averaged 14.2 points a game last year as a high school junior and was named California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) third-team all-San Diego Section.
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