Craig Austrie Makes Decision

All Craig Austrie needed was one official visit to put an end to his recruitment.

UMass has been searching for the right guy to take over once Anthony Anderson leaves after this year. The Minutemen have found a possible replacement in Craig Austrie.

The 6-2, 175-pound senior combo guard, who will be the go-to guy this season at Trinity Catholic (Conn.) now that David McClure has left for Duke, took an official visit to the Amherst campus last weekend and that was enough to seal the deal.

Austrie, who can play either backcourt spot, made it final on Monday night.

``I just can't think of any negatives about UMass," Austrie said. "I love the campus, the guys and the coaches. They just made me feel so welcome."

``I just couldn't turn that down," added the Bronx, N.Y. native. "Plus, I have the opportunity to go in and start as a freshman."

McClure was somewhat difficult to keep track of this past spring and summer, playing with the New Jersey Panthers, the New Jersey Sure Shots and then finally NY Bounce. However, the UMass staff knew exactly who he was playing with at all times and followed his every move.

Austrie displayed his ability to get to the basket throughout the course of the summer. His outside shot needs to become more consistent, but it's gotten much better over the past year.

Austrie was also receiving interest from both Boston College and St. John's, but he didn't need to wait and see whether they were going to offer scholarships.

``When I watched the guys play on my visit, the first thing that I thought is that I might be the final piece missing for them to get back to the NCAA Tournament," Austrie said. "After my visit I tried to think of any negatives about going there – and I couldn't come up with anything." Now UMass will try to find a compliment in the backcourt to Austrie - and the Minutemen will host Sean McCurdy and Bryan Mullins in the coming weeks on official visits.

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