Michigan coaches paid closed attention to the Southwest Illinois Jets throughout the weekend at the Nike Spring Showdown in Merrillville, Ind. We’ve already highlighted Peyton Allen and Darreon Reddick’s performances but Darius Austin might have been the most impressive Jet on the weekend. Austin, #23 in the video below, was effective slashing to the basket throughout the weekend. The Cahokia, Illinois native camped in Ann Arbor last summer and likens his game to Michigan wing guard Tim Hardaway Jr.
After the jump find our interview with Austin who discusses his performance, his thoughts on Michigan and more.
Can you talk about your overall thoughts on your performance in your two games today?
“First game, I think I came out aggressive, played hard, and got my teammates involved. Second game, I started out slow. I wasn’t really loose. But the second half, I picked it up and we got the victory.”
Can you describe your game? What do you think are your biggest strengths and biggest weaknesses?
“My strengths right now are getting into the lane, to the free throw line, and getting my teammates involved. Penetrating and my mid-range game. My weaknesses are my explosiveness, and that’s all for weaknesses.”
What schools are recruiting you right now?
“Cincinnati, Michigan, Butler, Xavier, DePaul, Illinois, Mizzou, Oklahoma, Iowa, Michigan State.”
Are there any schools that you’re leaning toward right now?
What has the recruiting process been like for you?
“It’s good experience. The traveling part, that’s really good, for being a sophomore.”
Has any school offered you a scholarship yet?
“Yeah. I got one from DePaul, and SIUE (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville), and St. Louis University.”
Have you been in close contact with the Michigan staff? What coaches have you talked to?
“Yeah, I’ve talked to coach Jordan. He’s here today.”
What did coach Jordan say that he and Michigan wanted you to work on?
“Just the same thing. He said I need to get stronger. That’s all. He said my whole game will come though, by the time I become a senior.”
How much do you weigh right now?
Have you visited Ann Arbor at all?
“Yeah, I went last year for the Michigan [College Practice] Camp. I’ll be back there again this year.”
What did you think about your experience in Ann Arbor, and a little bit about the basketball program?
“I did good. I was playing on the same team as Drake Harris. Because he’s been there before, and he knows the coaches and he was trying to tell me to play my game, and they were really cool and all that.”
What did you think about the basketball program, as a whole?
“It’s a good program. Tim Hardaway; that’s the same kind of player I am. 6-6, can bring the ball up, can shoot.”
So you model your game after Tim Hardaway Jr.?
When’s the next time you’re planning on visiting Ann Arbor, and the Michigan program?
“Maybe for their [College Practice] camp, this upcoming summer.”
Can you talk about your basketball plans for the spring and summer? Are you planning on visiting any camps, like Michigan’s Elite Camp?
“I’m going to the Reebok camp in July. I’m going to the Michigan camp. I’m going to Butler on May 2nd. I’m going to Xavier May 11th and that’s all.”