Isaiah Austin - Top Freshman?

Mansfield Legacy is home to one of the top freshman basketball prospects in the country. Isaiah Austin is a 6-10.5 big man that has an advanced skill set and is already making his mark on Dallas/Fort Worth area basketball. Recently, Burnt Orange Beat stopped off at Legacy High to check out what all the talk is about.

Some might say Isaiah Austin was born to be a basketball player. At 6-10.5 and just 15 years old playing on the Mansfield Legacy varsity team, the California native has already shown a skill set far advanced for his age. If the first look on the surface isn't an indication of being born to play the game, consider his family lineage.

As the freshman, who is averaging 7.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and more than three blocked shots explains it, he comes from a family of successful basketball players and very tall people.

"My dad (Alex Austin) played in the league (NBA) and my uncle, Isaac Austin, played for the Utah Jazz," Austin said. "My grandfather was seven feet tall and all of my cousins are tall. My aunts are mostly 6-3 and taller," added Austin.

With the family tree of former NBA players, it's no wonder that the gangly freshman has a face up game and an advanced skill set. Mansfield Legacy coach Marchie Murdock says he is coaching a phenomenal talent.

"Phenomenal talent. He's got an opportunity to really be a special player if he continues to work and keep the same attitude," Murdock said, "He has the potential to be one of the guys you talk about at the state tournament as one of the best to come through here (Texas)."

While Austin is turning heads with his play and potential, he still has a long way to go to reach the high ceiling. Coach Murdock says he has to gain strength and that could take a while as Austin is expected to keep growing.

"He mainly needs to work on lower body strength. He's so tall and skinny now. Sometimes a 6-5, 210-pound guy can push him around. Then it's just mental toughness. He's 15 playing against 18 year olds. Both of those things will come. From what we hear, he's probably got two or three more inches still to grow. We'll see. He's coordinated and can run. He's got the footwork to go with it, but just needs to add the strength over time," Murdock said.

As far as the recruiting process, it's already begun for Austin with every Big 12 program stopping off at Legacy during the season. One Big 12 school in particular, Texas, has had the opportunity to get Austin on campus more than once.

"I'm going to the OU-Texas game on Saturday. It will be like my third time to go to a game this year. Texas is nice. I could go there, but I'll go to whatever college that gives me a full ride," Austin said.

As far as which programs are recruiting the long armed prospect, two conferences are showing the most interest early on with one program standing out.

"There are quite a few schools recruiting me hard. All of the Pac-10 schools and then the Big 12 schools. I'm from California until I was 10. It's early, but I like UCLA a lot," Austin said.

Austin, who moved from California to Minnesota before moving to Mansfield last year, says he knows where he has to improve to take his game to the next level.

"I definitely have to get stronger. Guys like to push me off the block, but I make up for that with my jump shot. I probably need to improve my speed also," Austin said.

Austin's father and uncle played collegiately at Arizona State before moving on the NBA. Isaiah's father works for the Utah Jazz.

Mansfield Legacy won the first round playoff game on Tuesday night over Fort Worth Southwest 66-58. Austin scored 14 points in the win.

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