Dick Harmon: With Nate Austin, Cougars suddenly have a triumvirate in the front court
"Dave Rose talks about expanding the depth on his team. Well, he's had several revelations, one of them is guard Anson Winder. But two, how huge is it to have a third guy when Chris Collinsworth isn't available any more to have Nate Austin come in and play significant minutes?"
In BYU's win over the Wildcats, the Cougars outscored the visitors 42-22 in the paint. For a good stretch in the second half, Rose had Davies and Austin on the court at the same time and Austin was not only posting up, but hanging on the outside baseline corner waiting for a deep shot like Jimmer.
"He's getting veteran minutes. This is a guy who's getting 15 to 20 minutes a game and Rose isn't afraid and doesn't hesitate at all to turn to him. That's a nice option for them. He's got to clean up his foul trouble but he's a bruiser and a banger."
No doubt Austin is not becoming a bigger part of opponents' scouting reports. He will draw more attention, possibly even some double teams. And if he draws beef out of the paint, it can only make Hartsock happier.
"Right now it's just phenomenal that he's out there and doing what he's doing off the bench. It just adds one more option for Rose."
Larson averaged 10 points as BYU's sixth man his freshman year in 1991-92. He averaged 18 his senior season. Austin is not BYU's sixth man. That duty is Stephen Rogers, who scored 15 Wednesday, 13 of those in a five minute second-half stretch that included eight straight.
Austin has now scored 45 in nine games (five point average) but 35 (11.6 average) in the last three.
"I think Nate Austin has every bit a chance to be as successful as I was as a freshman," said Larson.
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