ND F Austin Dufault Emerges as a Top Prospect

Austin Dufault, a 6-foot-8, 205-pound forward from Killdeer (ND) High, has emerged as a top prospect in the past two months. Dufault shined in July and his list of schools continues to grow. He has two Pac-10 offers and Minnesota has become the latest school to extend a scholarship offer. GoldenSports.Net caught up with Travis Kraft, Dufault's AAU coach to learn the latest on his recruitment.

Austin Dufault played for the ECI West Gold 17's AAU team this season in events such as the Hoosier Shootout, Kentucky Hoopfest and Reebok Summer Championship in Las Vegas. He averaged 20 points per game in Indianapolis and Louisville and 18 per contest in "Sin City."

Dufault had narrowed his choices to NDSU, Arizona State, Washington State, Montana State, Northern Iowa and Creighton before receiving a scholarship offer from Minnesota and Colorado.

The Minnesota offer was big news for Dufault, according to ECI head man Travis Kraft.

"That's huge for a North Dakota kid," Kraft said.

Kraft said that Dufault's strong summer play opened plenty of eyes.

"He really came on. People were skeptical and his toughness and quickness before seeing him."

Kraft said that location could be a factor.

"He comes from a good family and is a small-town North Dakota kid," Kraft said.

The coach said that Dufault wants to sign in the early November signing period.

Dufault will visit Arizona State over Labor Day weekend and has plans to visit North Dakota State, Washington State and Montana State this fall.

Dufault averaged 21 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals and two blocked shots per game.

Smaller schools such as Richmond, Lafayette, Evansville had been involved with his recruitment before he blew up this summer.

Dufault led ECI West Gold to the "A" bracket finals of the Reebok tournament in Las Vegas. He finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and two blocks in a loss to the Oklahoma Magic 66-55. They finished 6-2 in Las Vegas.

Dufault is playing football for the first time this season. Killdeer plays nine-man football. They won their season opener, defeating Watford City/Alexander/Johnson Corners Christian Academy 8-0.

Dufault is a good ballhandler for his size and has the ability to play both forward positions.

He posted a 26 on his ACT and a 3.8 GPA, making fully academically qualified as a freshman.

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