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Player Profile: Zack Austin

What is Pitt getting with the former High Point forward?

NCAA Basketball: High Point at Kentucky Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Name: Zack Austin

DOB: 8/11/2001

Height: 6’7”

Weight: 201

2023 Stats: 14.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.1 spg, 2.1 bpg, .437/.333/.786 shooting

Career Stats (2 seasons) 14.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.2spg, 2.1 bpg, .424/.327/.757 shooting

So let’s start with the obvious. Austin is an elite defender. Averaging over 2 blocks per game at his size is very good. He can block shots from everywhere on the floor, weak side help, chase downs, perimeter shots, etc. At High Point Austin was originally a Tubby Smith recruit before the championship-winning coach stepped down in 2022. Here’s an excerpt from an article about Smith’s coaching philosophy while he was at Memphis:

For Smith, this means his teams primarily use a motion offense with an emphasis on sharing the ball and a ball-line defense that pressures ball handlers and clogs the lane. With those in place, he can recruit players with strengths that fit accordingly.

Yeah, I believe clogging passing lanes is something that Zack Austin excels at.

On the offensive side of the ball, Austin possesses elite athleticism. He can jump out of the building and is a capable outside shooter. I would describe his dunks as violent. He can drive and finish with his left or right and has a nice turn-around in his arsenal as well. He has a high-arcing jump shot that is difficult to block.

All in all, Austin seems like the perfect wing to compete in the ACC. Credit to Capel for recognizing Pitt’s struggles against teams like Duke and Miami with exceptional length and working to resolve it for next season.