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Austin leaves Providence program

Saturday, January 04, 2014

 

The hits just keep on coming for the Providence basketball program.

Providence College announced late Saturday afternoon that Brandon Austin, a 6-6, 185 pound freshman guard from Philadelphia, has decided to leave the basketball program.

Austin averaged 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists as a senior at Imhotep Charter High School, where he he led his team to the PIAA Class AAA title last season.  He was named MVP of the league championship game, on his way to becoming a highly-ranked recruit for Ed Cooley's 2013 freshman class, along with forward Rodney Bullock.  Austin was ranked as the #44 recruit nationally by Scout.com.

"We wish Brandon success with his basketball career and with his academic future," was Cooley's official statement, released by the school. 

Austin did not officially appear in any games for the Friars this season, but did play in the lone exhibition game scheduled...a 97-65 win at the Dunkin Donuts Center November 2nd against Rhode Island College.  He scored 13 points, pulled down five rebounds and had two assists and two steals in 27 minutes against the Anchormen.  But officially, he will not have played a game that counts in the record book.

Brandon Austin

Austin's departure from the program is certainly a blow to the Providence team, which is currently struggling with depth issues in a depleted back court, thanks to the season-ending injury to Kris Dunn.  It's also the second straight year that the Friars will have a highly-ranked recruit leave the team without ever having played a game - as Providence-native Ricky Ledo left PC last year to turn pro without playing a game in a Friar uniform.

Austin and Bullock were suspended indefinitely for an undisclosed violation of the school's Code of Conduct in early November, which became a season-long suspension last month after a College internal review of their case.  Both players were told by the school they could remain enrolled, and continue to practice with the team - which Bullock will apparently do.  Austin has decided to depart, which means if he does transfer to another school, he must sit out another semester before he can become eligible next December.  Bullock can play for the Friars next fall, and retains four years of eligibility.

There is no definite word on Austin's future plans to join another program, with nearby Penn State and Temple mentioned most often as potential landing spots. 

The Friars are scheduled to face 11th-ranked Villanova Sunday night in a 7:00 pm tip off, and faced some trouble in getting to Philadelphia in the first place.  With the weather issues up and down the east coast, PC's flight was cancelled Saturday afternoon, forcing the team to make a five-hour bus ride into Pennsylvania to face the Wildcats. 

 

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