Dufault Emerges From Vegas

In today's day and age, computers and the internet make it tough to find legit sleepers. Well, this month we turned one up the old fashioned way: luck. Scout.com happened to be in the right place at the right time when Austin Dufault took center court.

It's hard to believe but these things happen. Austin Dufault, a 6-foot-8 face up power forward entered the month of July with nary a Division I scholarship offer. To an extent, you can see why that may happen but once word got it didn't stay that way long.

Dufault, a standout from Kildeer (N.D.) High, didn't even have a scholarship open for him from the in-state schools. "I don't know (how it happened)," Dufault said. "North Dakota State was for a while because they were the only D-I that offered (during July) and they were in-state. Now, with these other schools offering I don't really know. I'll have to take some visits."

"Other schools" quickly stepped up to the plate after seeing Dufault play in Vegas as the Reebok Summer Championship. In the second to last game of the event on the last day of the championships, Dufault played center court at tournament headquarters. Air Force, Colorado, Arizona State and Washington State were in the gym. Many moved quickly on him.

Washington State offered and so did ASU and for good reason: Dufault banged 9 3s in his final two games in Vegas. He rose to the level of the competition. He had too because it would be a while before he'd see players this caliber.

"I play Class B in North Dakota," Dufault said. "Every once in a while there's a team that might have a couple of college players but not the type of talent that's in Vegas. I play better in the summer than high school games because I get going more against better players."

Truth be told, Dufault heated up his own recruitment earlier in the month with strong efforts in Louisville and Indianapolis at AAU events. This sparked D-I interest; Vegas solidified offers.

"I had seen Washington State and a couple of others at some games in Vegas. After the championship game it got crazy with calls. That's when I caught some people's eyes."

Rice is on his radar. Lafayette, NDSU, Montana State and Evansville are interested. Creighton called this week as did Navy, Air Force, Colorado State and Minnesota.

"I'd say I'm kind of like anywhere from a two to a four," Dufault said. "I can post guys that are smaller. If I have a bigger guy I'm running him off screens. If I rebound I can bring it up the floor."

Whatever position he plays (he'll be a four-man in college) one thing is certain: he won't have to pay for his tuition. July insured that he'll be a scholarship player and likely in a big conference.

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