Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
More Aggressive Austin Colbert Looking to Trim List
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — Austin Colbert helped Team Final finish off Boo Williams with an empathic one-handed dunk here Friday afternoon.
Looking more aggressive than we have seen him in recent weeks, the 6-foot-9 Colbert finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks and 3 steals in the 66-60 victory, Team Final’s first in three games here.
The performance came with notable coaches like Bill Self, Rick Pitino, Tom Crean, Frank Martin and Mike Rice plus a slew of assistants watching.
“Aw, man that [dunk] felt pretty good,” Colbert said. “It kind of iced the game a little bit and I just felt good about that.”
Team Final coach Rob Brown told SNY.tv Colbert is finally playing more aggressive after some passive play earlier this year.
“He got smacked in the mouth a little bit because he was excluded from certain camp situations early on,” Brown said. “He got in late invites. He came in to high school with a lot of fanfare, kind of fell off a little bit and he’s starting to get it back. He’s starting to get an edge.”
Colbert was aggressive in the paint and attacked the basket once on a cutting drive before scoring on a nice pass from Rondae Jefferson (21 points).
“I told him, ‘You’re 6-9, coaches want to see you be 6-9, they want to see you play big,'” Brown said. “They don’t want to see you shoot jump shots. It’s good that you can shoot those, diversify your skills but they want to see you be a big guy. I think that’s what he’s done this summer.”
Colbert seems to have gotten the message.
“Definitely, because what college coach wants to recruit a big man who’s not aggressive, who’s soft and tends to go out to the perimeter so I really want to get in my mind, get the mentality that I gotta get down there,” Colbert said. “I’m 6-9 so I gotta bang with the big guys.”
Brown still wants to see Colbert bulk up going forward.
“I think [his upside] is very high,” he said. “Last year of high school he has to be able to build his body. Next year’s a big year for him, he’s gotta hit the weights.”
A native of Chesapeake, Va.,, Colbert spent two years at St. Patrick before playing last year at the Hotchkiss (Conn.) School. He said he will spend his senior season at either The Patrick School (formerly St. Patrick) or Gill St. Bernard’s, which features his Team Final teammate, Northwestern-bound point guard Jaren Sina.
As far as colleges, Colbert lists Florida, Texas, Georgetown, Baylor, Seton Hall, Illinois and Memphis, but called that a “rough draft.” He said Harvard and Oklahoma State had expressed interest.
“I have to take a visit down to Memphis, Illinois, Baylor definitely, Texas and I want to get another visit down to Florida,” he said. “And Seton Hall is right in my back yard so I can visit there as well.”
Seton Hall is the local school for the Jersey product.
“It’s very realistic,” he said. “It’s Jersey so my family lives in New York and they’re Brooklyn natives.”
Going forward, he plans to cut his list.
“I definitely want to narrow the list after AAU, take some visits in the fall, maybe winter so I can get a choice and be able to commit from there,” he said.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.