Austin has a terrific first step, but had trouble finishing at the rim at times in high school. He's got much better in college, but he still struggles to finisher against big, physical front lines, especially going left. If he struggles against Xavier Gibson and Bernard James, I can't imagine he'll be a Dwayne Wade or Gerald Henderson type of finisher in the lane against the Tyson Chandlers and Serge Ibakas of the NBA.
Matt, I completely disagree about Austin's NBA prospects. I think his ceiling is immensely higher as a PG than as a SG. I think his 6'4 200 listing is fairly generous - I kind of doubt he's the same size as Andre Dawkins, and I don't think he'll be able to pack much additional muscle on his wiry frame. He's a streaky, but not great shooter, struggles at the FT line, isn't an explosive dunker, isn't great at absorbing contact, and would be undersized vs. your average NBA SG (even skinny guys like Kevin Martin and Matt Barnes are 6'7). I think he'd be a good NBA SG, but not someone you'd build a franchise around.
Why not leverage his greatest strengths - an otherworldly handle and first step - and try to make the conversion to PG? It's worked out pretty well for guys like Russell Westbrook, Rodney Stuckey, Jrue Holiday, etc. A slight adjustment in mentality, and he becomes that much more dangerous, IMO. If he could show decent PG skills in a successful sophomore year, I'd think he'd be a lottery lock.
I think PG is something you need to have a feel for. Austin is a SG, and his weakest point seems to be his court vision/awareness. I think his game is well suited to the NBA with the extra court spacing and emphasis on 1v1 play. I do think he could use an extra year or two so he doesn't get buried on a bench somewhere, but I'm sure his dad can give him excellent advice. And of course I wish him the best of luck on however he decides to pursue his career.
After doing a bit of research I found this.The date in the article you linked is the date that the NBA has decided on. The NCAA has set its own date for withdrawal however... The day before early signing period for the spring... (Mid april)
Below is an article from last year... Basically players would have to withdraw before NBA teams could get a chance to evaluate them.
http://aol.sportingnews.com/ncaa-basketball/story/2011-04-13/ncaa-would-be-wrong-to-move-up-early-entry-dateIf the new deadline were in place this year, Missouri's Kim English, Michigan's Darius Morris and Pitt's Ashton Gibbs would have been forced to make up their minds by April 12.
The NBA does not even require players to enter the draft until April 24, and the final draft order won’t be set for nearly a month.
“Testing the waters” used to be a legitimate exercise for college players with professional aspirations. Now, if they get a splash of that water on their sneakers they’ll be gone from college for good.
The coaches from the Atlantic Coast Conference pushed for the change of the NBA’s withdrawal deadline for early entrants, which had allowed players to consider their options until 10 days before the draft, to the early May deadline that was in place in 2010 and will be again this year. The ACC again backed this new proposal, supposedly so the colleges could have some degree of certainty regarding future rosters.
I think they should both stay.. Mason especially.. He is an exceptional athlete, but has really got to get more solid as a post up player. With his ability and size he should get a touch almost every offensive possession. Austin as a SG will happen. I'd love to see him mature a little as a person before he makes the move. He is so determined and I really enjoy his focus. Each game I went to this year, I constantly watched him 75% of the time. He really has a will to be the best, and I feel he will be very good in the NBA. I just hope they both stay.. For my selfish reasons, and I think it would be better for them to both take a year to work on areas of their game that were severely exposed this season.
I hope we keep Mason. Mason is a necessity for next year IMO. I would like to keep Austin, but that is up to him (he may want to start making his name in the NBA immediately and we have Sulaimon coming in next year). I just hope that if he stays, we learn how to incorporate him within the offense without just running an isolation. It is great that he is comfortable taking on a defense on his own, but we need to run a real offense that isn't him as one guy and the rest as 4 guys who stand around when he has the ball watching what he does. We have had great players in the past. I think Nolan was an amazing player, but we made sure he succeeded WITHIN the offense, not around it. That isn't a knock to Austin (he has amazing ability and I love it) or anyone, just a strategy I felt weird watching a lot this season.
Mason would improve more as a player in the NBA and that's just a fact. He's going against better competition, and all they do is play basketball. Mason's going to need to get NBA development from NBA players and coaches. Sure his skills could get honed a little more if he stayed in college, but I don't see him being the focal point of the offense. If Mason chooses to stay, I believe it will be more for personal reasons than for basketball reasons. Maybe this extra year would help him with his instincts on the court, because to be perfectly honest, most of his instincts are bad. It's jump as high as I can all the time and be bigger than everyone, which is just terrible for defense, he literally can be caught on a pump fake every time, no matter the size of the offensive player. Feel for the game and the game at a slower less skilled pace is really the only thing Mason can continue make drastic improvements on if he chooses to stay another year in my opinion. He's got some post skills, it's all about people getting him the ball, and with these players, that's just as much about the guards being willing and eager to get the ball in the post, which they clearly are not. Pick and rolls may just as well be called pick and sit on the bench.
I hope he stays because he's a major talent and makes our team a viable National Title contender if Austin comes back, but I think its unfair to kid yourself into thinking that he's going to turn himself into Tim Duncan if he stays another year.
I don't think Mason nor Austin are ready for the NBA. Mason showed great strides this year but could use another year in the weight room and to develop his shot. Austin also needs another year, he's going to get lost in the shuffle at the NBA level if he leaves this year. His size and confidence have to be better to be a top 10 pick. He's no Kyrie (YET) and shouldn't be unfairly compared to him. With that said, if he were to stay 4 years and keep up at the rate he's going, I could see No. 0 in the rafters one day.
Mason isn't going to go anywhere. He's a four year guy just like his brother....at least I hope/assume so. Hopefully Austin's daddy Doc with be in his ear telling him he is not ready for the league because he isn't. Is he a great scorer? Yes. Does he need to work on MANY other aspects of his game? The smart decision for Rivers would be to stay at least one more year. It's not like he needs to go pro to put food on his family's table. I am personally interested to see how Cook and Plumlee #3 will develop in the offseason.
Just think about Nolan's growth over his last two years. Imagine if Austin stayed that long we would be a hell of a ball player when he left Duke. I just don't think he will stay that long, but one can dream right.
So, in other words...no news yet.
We'll be lucky to get two years out of Austin... Getting 4 years from him is almost out of the question