Saturday, August 30, 2008

Player Profile: Craig Austrie

The Good: This homegrown guard does a little of everything. He can run the point, play the two guard, come off the bench or start, seal the game from the line, and play solid defense. He’s an asset to a team that can be easily overlooked but his contributions are indispensable. His play during that crucial stretch of conference play, while Dyson and Wiggins were suspended, was stellar. He was able to stretch the defense with his outside shooting and give Price a breather at the point. He has great ball handling and is comfortable driving into the paint. Though he isn’t going to take over the game, his ability to calm the offense down and run the half court sets helped the team solve the droughts that plagued them the year before.

The Bad: He has average speed and doesn’t have a tremendous first step. He also is a streaky shooter and couldn’t buy a basket towards the end of the season. If he wishes to make it to the next level, he needs to be a sharpshooter. He has the body type of a Chauncey Billups, but needs the extra pounds to be able to battle the smaller guards. He doesn’t do one particular thing great but he does a little of everything well.

Looking Ahead: Austrie is determined to go into the season with everything he has. He’s hit the gym hardcore and is looking at ending his UConn career with a bang. His versatility and experience will be important during the rigors of the season. Calhoun has confidence in him to come off the bench or start and that is an invaluable asset to have. Look for him to have a stellar senior season and become an integral part of the backcourt rotation.

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