Lanphier's Austin headed to Tennessee
College basketball writer MARCUS JACKSON weighs in on Springfield Lanphier guard Larry Austin’s commitment to Tennessee, which he announced Thursday:
Though he held an offer from John Groce and Illinois, it became apparent in recent months that the combo guard from Springfield Lanphier and the Illini were heading in different directions. With Illinois set in the backcourt for the foreseeable future, it came as no surprise that the 6-foot-1 Austin gave an oral commitment to Tennessee and Cuonzo Martin on Thursday.
Missouri, Oklahoma State and Kansas State were also in the mix. Austin first was offered by Illinois when current K-State coach Bruce Weber made the pitch in September 2011, when Austin was a sophomore. Groce made an offer to the 2014 four-star guard last October, but with Tracy Abrams, Aaron Cosby, Kendrick Nunn and Jaylon Tate all in the program, it made sense for Austin to pursue other options.
Austin, a defensive-minded point guard preferred by Martin, and 2013 recruit Darius Thompson will give Martin options in the backcourt going forward. It’s a tough blow for Weber, who has been recruiting Austin since the senior-to-be was a freshman at Lanphier.