Q&A: High School Coach on Austin

Andre Noble gives a scouting report on the new hoop commit and talks about Penn State coach Pat Chambers recruiting in Philadelphia.

Scout.com four-star basketball prospect Brandon Austin committed to Penn State Thursday. The 6-foot-6, 170-pound junior hails from Imhotep Institute in Philadelphia.

Imhotep has won back-to-back Philadelphia Public League championships and captured the PIAA AA title at the Bryce Jordan Center last March.

We caught up with Imhotep coach Andre Noble to get a scouting reporting on Austin. Here is what he had to say:

FOS: Tell us about Brandon.

AN: Brandon is 6-6 or 6-7. He plays one and two. Really good ball-handler and good decision-maker. Really plays basketball more as point guard than he plays as a two or a three. Shoots it pretty decent. Has to become better but he shoots it well. Is a solid defender. He can get down and defend.

Probably the biggest thing is, he's a very smart basketball player. He understands the game and sees it like a coach. He is a great passer. Would probably rather make the great pass than dunk it himself.

I think Coach (Pat Chambers) got a basketball player today.

FOS: How does a 6-6 kid end up playing point? Was there a growth spurt there?

AN: No, he's always played like this, since he was in middle school. He's always been long and has always played like this. I guess it is odd seeing someone that tall handling the ball like that. Teams do different things against him. But he doesn't have a problem beating little guys off the dribble.

He's a really good ball-handler, and because he's good, he plays the point. When he's not playing the point, he's playing two. Defensively, he plays guards. We have big guys who play four and five.

FOS: Penn State has not traditionally recruited well in the city. How did Chambers make this happen?

AN: Coach Chambers is a Philly guy. And he's got (Keith) Urgo, who has recruited Philly well. But Chambers spent most of the time with Brandon himself. He's got Philly roots. He's got ties among the basketball community. That's why he was successful.

FOS: What sold Brandon on Penn State?

AN: When he visited Penn State (last fall), he liked it. Even shockingly liked it. He was impressed when he went up there. That and what he heard from Coach.

I think Coach is going to tackle Philadelphia. I don't think this is going to be a one-and-done. I don't think Brandon will be the last. His perspective changed from his visit up there. He came back and told us he was impressed.

FOS: Where does he have to improve?

AN: His shot. Getting stronger. The Big Ten is a very physical league.

When Brandon is shooting the ball well in high school, he cannot be guarded one on one. So the more he becomes a proficient shooter, the more difficult it becomes for you to guard him. He's got great shot fakes. Great footwork.

FOS: How do you see him maturing physically from the 170 he weighs now?

AN: He's added muscle tone to his body since he's been here. Brandon, looking at him now, he's a little bigger than he was. He's never gonna be 240 -- never. But he's gonna be a wiry, strong kid as he gets older.

FOS: What would you like people to know about him?

AN: Fairly quiet kid. The thing that's really great about B is that he's tremendously loyal and he's a winner. He really will do anything to win. If he has seven points, seven rebounds and seven assists, you would think he had 30 (points). We won the Public League when he was a freshman. He got his piece of the net and said, “I think I'm going to keep doing this.” He now has two. And he's working to get back to winning his third.

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