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TMCNet:  Austin has power for Imhotep

[February 21, 2013]

Austin has power for Imhotep

Feb 22, 2013 (Philadelphia Daily News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- BRANDON AUSTIN is often so laid back, you'd think his sport of choice would be golf. Or maybe even chess, if a special exemption could be granted to make that qualify.


When he offers answers to questions, sometimes he does so with a voice that makes a whisper sound ear-splitting.

Ah, but there are also stretches when his basketball play is eye-popping, and that was why so many Division I colleges wanted to add him to the fold.

Austin, a 6-6, 180-pound senior, does his playing for Imhotep Charter and his next stop will be Providence. And his entry in the media guide will include this tidbit: Topped 1,000 career points.

By how many To be determined. But he definitely reached 1,000 Thursday night during a Public League semifinal at Southern High and, hey, check it out, he actually showed some emotion while talking about it.

The big moment, raising his game total to 10, came on a free throw with 5:59 remaining in the third quarter of the Panthers' 66-40 frolic past Communications Tech.

Austin said he knew, entering the game, that he needed 10 points, but was not aware of total as he stepped to the line. Neither did anyone shout out, "Just one more!," or some such alert, from the bench. Though an announcement was made, the game wasn't stopped. If that happened, Austin probably would have looked sheepishly at the floor.

"It's nice to get 1,000 points, but scoring's not my main concern," he said. "I'm out there first to set up my teammates. If sometimes I'm needed to take over, I'll try to do it. But that's definitely not my focus." Over time, who knows whether Austin will even remember this moment At least to the exact detail. He did exhibit clarity, though, when asked to recall his first varsity points.

"I hit a three-pointer," he said, brightly. "Coach [Andre Noble] put me into the game and I made a three pretty much right away." The opponent Constitution. The site Imhotep.

Though Austin is officially considered a point guard prospect for college purposes, for 'Tep he plays everything through wing guard to small forward to even power forward.

In this one, which in all honesty was quite boring/one-sided, Austin totaled 18 points, eight rebounds and two apiece of assists/steals/blocks. He packed 11 of those points into the third quarter, showing a true glimpse of Brandon Austin-ness: Explosive in spurts.

After he began the session with two field goals, Austin made a hard drive to the left block and was hacked as tried a layup.

Overall, he shot 6-for-13 from the floor (one trey) and 5-for-6 at the line.

Defensively, Austin and his many long, mostly lean teammates kept stepping into passing lanes, challenging shots and phrustrating the Phoenix no end. CT missed 23 of its first 26 shots.

"They gave us a real tough game [in the regular season]," Austin said. "But that was on their court and the floor was really slippery. Here, everything was normal and we did what we had to do." For college, Austin said he wants to improve his jump-shooting, decision-making and become more a more vocal leader. He also knows he needs to gain weight, and that effort has commenced.

"I've put on five to 10 pounds since the season started," he said. "I've been doing pushups, lifting weights, eating some protein . . . I also eat some junk food. Can't name anything specific, but everybody does that, right " Small forward Basil Thompson added 12 points for Imhotep, shooting 4-for-7 and 4-for-4. He also snagged 10 rebounds. Jakwan Jones distributed four assists.

The only CT player with more than six points was senior wing guard David Johnson (18, two treys). Mohamed Sherif grabbed nine boards.

At the bottom of Austin's long frame were pink sneakers. "Just supporting the [cancer] cause," he said.

___ (c)2013 the Philadelphia Daily News Visit the Philadelphia Daily News at www.philly.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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