Sophomore Watch: Darryl Augustine

Now is the time of year where the top players from the class of 2006 start to emerge. The country's elite sophomores are slowly turning potential into production and are filling up the stat sheets. And the college coaches from across the country are trying to position themselves for these future stars.

One popular guard from the class of 2006 is 5-11 Darryl Augustine, a speedy, sharp-shooting star from Brother Martin in New Orleans, La.

"D.J.'s a natural," said John Levie, the head coach at Brother Martin. "Things just come so easy for him. The way he moves to the goal, and the fact that he has eyes in the back of his head. And he always seems to get to the loose balls."

Brother Martin is off to an impressive 19-6 start this season, and much of the credit goes to Augustine's leadership and production. The quick sophomore is pouring in 25 points and 5.2 assists per game.

The most impressive statistic for the young prospect, however, may be his shooting percentages.

"He's a shooter. He's hitting fifty-percent from three this year and he simply never takes bad shots," said Levie.

Aside from his three-ball efficiencies, Augustine is also connecting on 85 percent of his free throws and hitting 56 percent from the floor overall. And despite all of the positives, Levie said that his star still has room for growth as a basketball player.

"DJ needs to grow and get stronger," the coach said of his star 10th grader. "He's so skilled offensively but he could become a better defender."

On the recruiting front, Augustine is already a marked man for many college programs. He's receiving interest from many of the nation's respected basketball programs including Michigan, Wake Forest, Georgetown, Miami, LSU, and Georgia Tech.

All of the aforementioned schools have made the trip to New Orleans to watch and evaluate Augustine in person. He's received some initial interest from North Carolina and Duke, in the form of letters.

"Not a lot of interest from the ACC schools just yet, except for Georgia Tech and Wake, but that may change after this year," added Levie.

"He's not excited about the recruiting process right now," the coach continued. "We said that we'd sit down and talk about it after the season. There is no frontrunner at this time."

Augustine performed brilliantly as a freshman last spring at the annual Tournament of Champions in Chapel Hill. Player with the New Orleans Jazz, he showcased superb quickness and excellent decision making for a young point guard. He turned many heads with his maturity, passing and his noted shooting touch. Following in the footsteps of several other big time guards from the Jazz -- such as Chris Duhon and Maurice Williams -- Augustine is sure to have a big target on his back this summer.

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