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College, High School / Sep 7, 2010 / 1:30 pm

Texas’ Homegrown Dirk Nowitzki

Isaiah Austin

Isaiah Austin

If you haven’t heard of Isaiah Austin yet, you will.

Only a junior at Grace Prep Academy in Arlington, Texas, Austin has already caught the eye of NBA scouts. Put it this way: If he was able to declare for the NBA Draft today, Jay Bilas would die due to excessive amounts of excitement.

Stuart Scott: “Jay, tell us a little about Mr. Isaiah Austin.
Jay Bilas: “Stuart, NBA scouts are drooling over this kid. He’s seven feet tall, can run the floor, handle the ball, hit a jump shot, and has a 7-4 wingspan. 7-foot-4, Stuart! The kid has unlimited potential and he’s still growing.”

Isaiah does have an incredible skill set and loads of potential, but before we start talking about the NBA, the kid has to go to college. And lucky for us, his decision’s already been made. About a month ago, Austin announced that he’ll be taking his talents to Waco and join the Baylor Bears.

But for the sake of us NBA fans, lets talk future. According to former Duke point guard and current ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Williams, Austin would have been the first pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. Of course, he’s only a junior in high school and won’t be eligible for three more years, but a junior in high school already being considered a lock for the No. 1 spot? That’s just scary.

As a legitimate 7-footer with ball handling skills and three-point range, he deserves to be discussed. Yes, it may be a little early to gift wrap the No. 1 pick and hand it to Austin (especially considering we’ve already done that), but it’s not too often that you see someone with these skills at this age. Most high school 7-footers can barley walk and chew gum at the same time.

Isaiah Austin

Isaiah Austin

One attribute that makes Austin so special is his natural feel for the game. In other words, Austin isn’t one of those kids who forces things. He lets the game come to him. He has great touch and works extremely well from the high post. His height and jump shot make him a nightmare at that spot on the floor. Along with his ball skills, Austin runs the floor well making him especially dangerous in the open court.

Because of his athleticism, Austin is able to beat defenders down the floor for easy baskets. He finishes well at the rim, but also takes pride in protecting it. Having said that, he does need to get stronger and fill out his frame. At 7-0, 200 pounds is a bit thin, but he is only 17. The biggest concern for Austin however is his ability to play with his back to the basket. Too often does he find himself on the perimeter, like Dirk Nowitzki, trying to take a smaller defender of the dribble rather than using his superior height to score over the top. And others have noticed that as well.

“As a fellow 7-footer, Austin is primarily a face-up player with high level ball skills like Nowitzki,” writes Jerry Meyer, the national basketball recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. Austin will likely never be the pure shooter that Nowitzki is, but it looks like Austin will be a high level shooter. On the plus side for Austin, he is a better shot blocker than Nowitzki.”

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  • That’s What’s Up

    His skinny legs and ankles won’t help him. Remember George Ackles from UNLV?

  • JAY

    Read about this kid when he was in 8th grade. Too early but sky’s the limit.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Aron Phillips

    I saw him play while he was at adidas Nations. This kid is for real!

  • RapTOr

    Dude needs to hit the gym for real

  • boomshakalaka

    damn, i bet a pick from Nate Robinson would break this guy in half

  • kwams

    i peeped this dude…kid has handles it’s crazy

  • ben1en

    #1 is absolutely right. The kid has scrawny legs and that is usually a sign that he won’t be able to handle more weight. Also, big legs allow a person to put on weight easily. I wouldn’t be surprised if this baller has injury problems in the future, but I hope he gets lucky and avoids that.

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    Can you say Jonathan Bender?

    And whats with the “he’ll never be the pure shooter that Dirk is” comment? How could you know such a thing. Shooters are born (Bird) and shooters are made (Michael Redd) but either way they are shooters.

    I personally don’t have faith in the kid because he looks slow and doesn’t posess superior athleticism to make up for the lack of weight/strength. he’ll be an NBA player for sure though.

  • dvs

    the next Daye??

  • WinDelRoj

    Another 7 footer who plays on the perimeter. I feel bad for teams that have a legit 7 foot player, but still need a 5 and a 4. Might not be a fair feeling but still…

  • me

    Damn thats a skinny dude. Looks like he coulda broke his own ankle in that pic.

  • FU

    IT’S ALWAYS GOOD TO HEAR THEM HATERS.
    DUDES SKINNY BUT GIVE HIM SOME TIME AND HOPEFULLY WITH THE PROPER GUIDANCE HE WILL TEAR SHIT UP. I SEEN HIM PLAY AT B-BALL CAMP AND DUDE WAS THE BEST KID ON THE COURT HE HAS THE SKILLS JUST NEEDS THE WEIGHT BUT HEY THAT’S NOT STOPPING KEVIN DURING NOW IS IT…
    TOO EARLY TO CALL HIM THE NEXT ANYBODY SO THE MEDIA NEEDS TO CHILL.
    I GUESS WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE!

  • http://bouncemag.com LowerEastScribe

    Bounce broke the story on this kid in our Young World section. The kid is a beast! Lol, he’s almost like a created player in NBA 2k (Don’t put him on the Heat-it’s not fair.

    Yo Kudos on the Jay Bilas reference, Scott. Lol, had me rolling a little bit.

  • dan

    he’ll never be the pure shooter dirk is… cause dirk is one of the best pure shooters to EVER play the game, at ANY height, and shit just doesn’t come along that often!

  • Oppaman

    In the second photo, looks like his ankles are gonna break

  • Mobetforu

    The kid is good but he ios not even the #1 kid in his class so how is he the top pick? Dime you might want to check a kid from my home state name Andre Drummond, 6’10 and a beast on the court .. Oh BTW he is the #1 ranked player in that class according to espn, scout and Rival.

  • Mack Hustlin

    Dudes legs dont even look real.