Austin weighing all his options
The chatter is out there about Larry Austin, Jr.
What type of guard exactly is the Springfield Lanphier (Ill.) High School junior and a Class of 2014 recruiting target for Illinois men's basketball?
Can he handle the responsibilities of the point guard, directing his team and setting up his teammates while also getting his share of points, like in the mold of Michigan's Trey Burke?
Or is he just a plain scorer, like in the mold of Illinois' Brandon Paul?
The 6-foot-1-inch, 160-pound Austin was on hand to watch those two dynamic players last Sunday duke it out at the Assembly Hall.
But Austin doesn't pay much heed to any criticism he might receive on message boards or forums if he's a true point guard or a shooting guard.
In fact, he said he never really considers it.
"I've never really got that question asked towards me," he said with a laugh.
Last Sunday was the first trip of the season to Champaign for Austin, who is back on head coach John Groce's radar.
When Groce started at Illinois, Austin's scholarship offer he had at Illinois under former head coach Bruce Weber went away. Austin received a new scholarship offer from Groce last fall after Groce ventured to Springfield to see Austin in an open gym at the high school that has produced Denver Nuggets forward Andre Iguodala and former Illinois guard Rich McBride.
No hard feelings on the part of Austin.
"It was a good process," he said. "They wanted to see what I was working on, and they came out to see me at my school. They offered me a day later. Coach Groce is a great coach. He gets the best out of his guys each and every night."
Austin said he enjoys the up-tempo style Illinois wants to run with Groce on the sidelines, and liked the surroundings at Assembly Hall for the Michigan game.
"The atmosphere's going to be great," he said before the game. "It's going to be real live in here."
Illinois is one of 10 schools that have offered the Lanphier standout.
Bradley, DePaul, Iowa, Kansas State, Memphis, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Southern Methodist and Wake Forest are the other offers Austin currently has.
Austin didn't indicate a favorite among the 10 or when he might make a decision on his college choice.
"I'm just trying to weigh all my options," Austin said. "I like all the schools that are recruiting me. I enjoy them all."